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'appelle  aceessoire,  1'estatdes  affaires  de  ceste  vie  caduque  et  transitoire.  J'appelle 
uioipal,  le  gouvernement  spirituei  auquel  reluit  souverainement  la  providence  de 

accessory  I  mean  the  state  of  affairs  in  this  fading  and  transitory  life.  I?y 
inaipatl  I  mean  the  spiritual  government  in  wbich  the  providence  of  (Jod  is  s<;ve- 
ignly  displayed.: 









LITERARY  men  in  France,  Switzerland,  Germany,  and  England, 
urged  on  by  a  spirit  of  examination  and  research,  are  constantly 
enquiring  after  the  original  documents  on  which  modern  histoiy  is 
founded.  I  wish  to  contribute  my  mite  to  the  accomplishment  of 
the  important  task  which  our  age  appears  to  have  undertaken. 
Hitherto  I  have  not  deemed  it  enough  to  peruse  contemporary 
historians.  I  have  interrogated  eye-witnesses,  private  letters,  and 
original  narratives,  and  made  use  of  some  manuscripts,  particularly 
that  of*Bullinger,  which  has  since  been  printed.  (Frauenfield, 

The  necessity  of  having  recourse  to  unpublished  documents  be 
came  more  urgent  on  approaching,  as  I  do  in  the  twelfth  book,  the 
Reformation  of  France,  with  regard  to  which,  in  consequence  of  the 
continual  turmoil  in  which  the  reformed  church  of  that  country  has 
lived,  we  have  only  a  few  printed  memoirs.  In  the  spring  of  1838, 
I  endeavoured,  as  far  as  was  in  my  power,  to  examine  the  manu 
scripts  of  the  public  libraries  of  Paris ;  it  will  be  seen  that  a  manu 
script  of  the  Eoyal  Library,  hitherto  I  believe  unknown,  throws 
great  light  on  the  first  stages  of  the  Eeformation.  In  the  autumn 
of  1839, 1  consulted  the  manuscripts  in  the  library  of  the  consistory 
of  pastors  of  Neufchatel,  a  collection  which  is  very  rich  in  regard 
to  this  period,  from  a  bequest  of  the  manuscripts  of  Farel's  library, 
and  through  the  kindness  of  the  proprietor  pfMeuron,  I  obtained  the 
use  of  the  manuscript  life  of  Farel  by  Choupard,  into  which  the 
greater  part  of  these  documents  have  been  transcribed.  These 
manuscripts  have  enabled  me  to  remodel  one  entire  section  of  the 
Reformation  in  France.  In  addition  to  this  assistance,  and  that 
famished  by  the  library  of  Geneva,  I  made  an  appeal,  through  tlie 


medium  of  the  Archives  du  Christianisme,  to  all  the  friends  of  his 
tory  and  the  Reformation,  who  may  have  any  manuscripts  at  their 
disposal,  and  I  here  express  my  gratitude  for  different  communi 
cations  which  have  been  made  to  me,  in  particular  by  the  Rev. 
Mr.  Ladeveze  of  Meaux.  But  though  religious  wars  and  perse 
cutions  have  destroyed  many  precious  documents,  there  doubtless 
still  exist  in  different  parts  of  France  several  which  would  be  of 
essential  service  to  the  history  of  the  Reformation,  and  I  earnestly 
entreat  all  who  may  possess  or  have  any  knowledge  of  them  to 
have  the  goodness  to  communicate  with  me  on  the  subject.  Docu 
ments  of  this  nature  are  felt  in  our  days  to  be  common  property, 
and,  therefore.  I  hope  that  this  appeal  will  not  be  in  vain. 

It  will  perhaps  be  thought  that  in  writing  a  general  history  of 
the  Reformation,  I  have  entered  too  much  into  detail  on  its  first 
beginnings  in  France.  But  these  beginnings  are  little  known :  the 
events  which  form  the  subject  of  my  twelfth  book  occupy  only 
three  or  four  pages  in  the  '  Histoire  Ecclesiastique  des  Eglises  Re- 
formees  au  Royaume  de  France,'  by  Theodore  Beza,  while  other 
historians  confine  themselves  almost  entirely  to  political  develop 
ments.  It  is  true  that  in  this  part  of  my  work  I  have  not  been 
able  to  describe  scenes  so  imposing  as  the  Diet  of  Worms.  Never 
theless,  independent  of  the  religious  interest  attached  to  it,  the 
humble  but  truly  divine  movement  which  I  have  attempted  to  de 
scribe,  had  perhaps  more  influence  on  the  destinies  of  France  than 
the  celebrated  wars  of  Charles  V  and  Francis  I.  In  a  large  ma 
chine  the  result  is  often  produced  not  by  the  parts  which  make  th  e 
greatest  appearance,  but  by  the  most  hidden  springs. 

Complaints  have  been  made  of  the  delay  which  has  taken  place 
in  the  publication  of  this  third  volume.  Some  would  even  have 
had  me  not  to  print  the  first  before  the  whole  was  completed. 
There  may  be  certain  superior  intellects  to  which  conditions  may 
be  prescribed,  but  there  are  others  whose  feebleness  must  give 
conditions,  and  to  this  class  I  belong.  To  publish  a  volume  at  one 
time,  at  another  time  when  I  am  able  a  second  volume,  and 
then  a  third,  is  the  course  which  my  primary  duties  and  hum 
ble  abilities  allow  me  to  take.  Other  circumstances,  moreover, 
have  interposed;  severe  afflictions  have  on  two  occasions  inter 
rupted  the  composition  of  this  third  volume,  and  concentrated  all 
my  affections  and  all  my  thoughts  on  the  tomb  of  beloved  children. 


The  thought  that  it  was  my  duty  to  glorify  the  adorable  Master, 
who  addressed  those  powerful  calls  to  me,  and  accompanied  them 
with  so  much  divine  consolation,  could  alone  have  given  me  the 
courage  necessary  to  prosecute  my  labours. 

These  explanations  seemed  due  to  the  kindness  with  which  this 
work  has  been  received  in  France,  and  especially  in  England,  where 
the  fourth  edition  of  a  translation  is  about  to  appear,  beside  two 
others  in  smaller  form,  which  I  am  told  are  in  course  of  prepara 
tion.  Owing  to  this,  no  doubt,  the  Journal  des  Debats,  in  an  article 
signed  M.  Chasles,  has  announced  this  history  of  the  Reformation 
as  an  English  work.  I  set  a  high  value  on  the  approbation  of  the 
protestant  Christians  of  Great  Britain,  the  representatives  of 
evangelical  principles  and  doctrines  in  the  most  remote  regions  of 
the  globe,  and  I  beg  to  assure  them  that  I  feel  it  to  be  a 
most  valuable  encouragement  to  my  labours.  The  first  book  of 
the  fourth  volume  will  be  devoted  (God  willing)  to  the  Reforma 
tion  of  England  and  Scotland.1 

The  cause  of  truth  recompenses  those  who  embrace  and  defend 
it ;  and  so  it  has  proved  with  the  nations  who  embraced  the  Reforma 
tion.  In  the  eighteenth  century,  at  the  moment  when  Rome  was 
anticipating  her  triumph  through  her  Jesuits  and  scaffolds,  victory 
slipt  through  her  hands.  Rome,  like  Naples,  Portugal,  and  Spain, 
fell  into  interminable  difficulties,  while  at  the  same  time  two  protes 
tant  kingdoms  arose  in  Europe,  and  began  to  exercise  an  influence 
which  till  then  had  belonged  to  Roman  Catholic  states.  England 
came  forth  victorious  from  the  Spanish  and  French  assaults,  which 
the  pope  had  so  long  stirred  up  against  her,  and  the  Elector  of 
Brandenburg,  in  spite  of  the  wrath  of  Clement  XI,  encircled  his 
head  with  a  royal  crown.  From  that  period  England  has  extended 
her  dominion  in  every  quarter  of  the  world,  and  Prussia  has  taken 
a  new  rank  among  continental  states,  while  a  third  power  also 
separated  from  Rome,  viz.  Russia  was  growing  up  in  her  immense 
deserts.  In  this  way  evangelical  principles  have  exerted  their 
influence  on  the  countries  which  have  received  them,  and  by  righte 
ousness  nations  have  been  exalted.  Let  evangelical  states  be  well 
assured  that  to  protestantism  they  owe  their  greatness.  Should 

1  The  last  book  of  the  present  ought,  perhaps,  to  have  formed  the  commencement 
of  a  succeeding  volume.  It  seemed  better,  however,  to  introduce  the  Reformation  01 
France  into  the  third  volume,  though  the  effect  has  been  to  make  it  about  150  pages 
larger  than  each  of  the  other  two. 


they  abandon  the  position  which  God  has  given  them,  or  incline 
anew  towards  Rome,  that  moment  they  lose  their  power  and 
glory.  Home  is  now  striving  to  gain  them ;  alternately  em 
ploying  flattery  and  threatening,  she  would,  like  Delilah,  lull  them 
asleep  upon  her  knees  .  .  .  but  it  is  to  rob  them  of  their  locks,  that 
thus  their  enemies  may  be  able  to  put  out  their  eyes,  and  bind 
them  with  fetters  of  iron. 

Herein,  too,  is  a  great  lesson  for  France,  with  which  the  'author 
feels  himself  so  intimately  connected  through  his  forefathers.  Should 
France,  like  her  diiferent  governments,  incline  anew  to  the  papacy, 
our  belief  is,  that  it  will  prove  the  signal  of  great  disasters.  Every 
one  who  attaches  himself  to  the  papacy  will  be  compromised  in  its 
downfall.  France  has 'her  only  prospect  of  strength  and  greatness 
in  turning  towards  the  gospel.  May  this  great  truth  be  understood 
by  rulers  and  people ! 

In  our  day,  it  is  true,  there  is  great  activity  in  the  papacy. 
Though  attacked  by  an  inevitable  consumption,  she  would  fain,  by 
showy  colours  and  feverish  paroxysms,  persuade  others,  and  per 
suade  herself,  that  she  is  still  full  of  vigour.  An  attempt  of  this 
kind  has  been  made  by  a  theologian  of  Turin,  in  a  treatise  occasion 
ed  by  this  history,  and  in  which  it  is  pleasing  to  recognise  a  certain 
talent  in  presenting  proofs,  however  feeble,  with  an  air  of  candour 
to  which  we  are  little  accustomed,  and  in  a  manner  by  no  means  of 
fensive,  notwithstanding  of  the  sad  and  culpable  facility  with  which 
the  author,  in  his  twelfth  chapter,  revives  accusations  against  the 
Reformers,  the  falsehood  of  which  has  been  completely  demon 
strated,  and  is  generally  acknowledged.1 

We  will  give  an  example,  referring  to  matters  contained  in  the 
present  volume.  James  le  Vasseur,  doctor  of  Sorbonne,  and 
canon  and  dean  of  the  church  of  ISToyon,  wrote  Annals  of  the 
Church  of  Noyon,  (1633,)  in  which  he  is  at  a  loss  for  epithets 
against  our  Reformer,  and  only  consoles  himself  by  the  thought 
that  Saint  Eloi  gave  Calvin  the  mortal  blow,  (p.  1164).  After  say 
ing  that  the  Reformer  in  early  life  held  benefices  in  the  Church  of 
Noyon,  the  canon  in  proof  of  this  quotes  a  declaration  of  James  Des- 
may,  also  a  doctor  of  theology,  in  his  "  Life  of  Calvin  the  heresiarch," 

1  LA  PAPACTE  consideree  dans  son  Origine  et  dans  son  Developpement  au  moyen 
age,  <m  Reponse  aux  Allegations  de  M.  Merle  d'Aubigne  dans  son  Histoire  de  la  lie- 
formation  au  Seizieme  Siecle,  par  I'abbe  C.  MAGNIN,  docteur  en  theologie,  Geneve,  ohet 
s.  1840. 


who,  after  a  very  careful  examination  of  every  thing  relating  to 
the  Reformer,  says,  "  I  have  been  unable  to  discover  ANYTHING  ELSE 
in  the  same  registers"  (Annales  de  Noyoii,  p.  1162).  Then  the 
devout  historian  of  the  Church  of  Noyon,  after  pouring  out  all  his 
wrath  on  Calvin  and  all  the  members  of  his  family,  without  men 
tioning  a  single  act  of  the  Reformer  at  variance  with  morality,  but 
contenting  himself  with  simply  observing,  that  to  call  him  heresiarch 
is  to  charge  him  with  the  sum  of  all  crimes  (ib.)  adds  a  XC  VI  chapter, 
entitled,  "  Of  another  John  Cauvin,  chaplain  Vicar  of  the  same 
church  of  Noyon,  NOT  A  HERETIC,"  in  which  he  says,  "  Another 
John  Cauvin  presented  himself  and  was  admitted  to  our  choir  at  a 
vicarial  chapel,  but  was  shortly  after  dismissed  for  his  incontinence, 
punishment  having  been  repeatedly  inflicted  to  no  purpose.  He 
was  vicar  for  the  diocese,  and  the  belief  of  our  old  people  is,  that 
he  served  the  cure  of  Trachy-le-Val  in  this  diocese  in  the  capacity 
of  vicar,  and  then  died  a  good  catholic.  He  was,  nevertheless, 
beaten  with  rods  when  in  custody,  as  Desmay  writes  in  his  little 
book,  pp.  39,  40,  and  yet  he  was  a  priest  not  subject  to  such 
discipline.  He  has,  therefore,  fallen  into  a  blunder,  taking  this 
man  for  another  vicar,  also  chaplain,  named  Baldwin  le  Jeune, 
doubly  young  in  name  and  in  manners,  who  had  not  then  entered 
the  priesthood  or  taken  any  holy  orders.  The  conclusion  of  the 
capitulary  is  as  follows  : —  ....  Quod  Balduinus,  le  Jeune  capel- 
lanus  vicarialis,  .  .  .  pro  scandalis  commissis,  ordinarunt  prafati 
domini  IPSUM  C^EDI  VIRGIS,  quia  pueret  nondum  in  sacris  consti- 
tutus.  I  thought  it  my  duty  (continues  the  dean  of  Noyon)  to  add 
this  chapter  to  the  history  of  the  first  Calvin,  ad  diluendam  homo- 
nymiam,  (to  guard  against  the  similarity  of  names,)  lest  the  one 
should  be  taken  for  the  other,  the  catholic  for  the  heretic."  Thus 
speaks  the  canon  and  dean  of  Noyon,  pp.  1170,  1171.  Now  what 
is  done  by  Doctor  Magnin  and  the  writers  of  the  papacy  whom  he 
quotes  ?  They  announce  quite  gravely  that  Calvin  was  banished 
from  his  native  town  for  bad  conduct ;  that  being  convicted  of  a 
horrible  crime,  ho  would  have  been  condemned  to  be  publicly  burnt 
had  not  the  burning  been  commuted,  at  the  prayer  of  the  bishop, 
into  scourging  and  branding  with  a  hot  iron,  etc.  (La  Papaute, 
p.  109.)  Thus,  in  spite  of  all  the  pains  which  the  dean  of  Noyon 
took  to  add  a  chapter  for  fear  the  one  should  be  taken  for  the  other, 
the  catholic  for  the  heretic,  the  writers  of  the  papacy  uniformly 


attribute  to  the  Eeformer  the  misdeeds  of  his  namesake.  The 
thought  uppermost  with  the  canon  of  Noyon  was  the  fair  fame  of 
this  John  Calvin  who  died  a  good  catholic,  and  he  trembled  lest  he 
should  be  charged  with  the  heresy  of  Calvin.  Accordingly  he 
draws  the  distinction  between  them  very  clearly,  giving  the  heresies 
to  the  one,  and  the  incontinence  to  the  other.  But  the  result  is  the 
very  opposite  of  what  he  anticipated.  It  is  not  "  the  heresy  of 
Calvin"  that  has  brought  opprobrium  on  John  Cauvin,but  the  in 
continence  and  chastisement  of  JohnCauvin  are  brought  forward  for 
the  purpose  of  throwing  opprobrium  on  the  Reformer.  And  such 
is  the  way  in  which  history  is  written  ! — such,  we  will  not  say  the 
bad  faith,  but  the  levity  and  ignorance  of  the  apologists  of  the 
papacy  !  These  blunders  occur  in  the  writings  of  men  otherwise 
respectable,  and  who  ought  to  have  nothing  in  common  with  the 
hateful  name  of  calumniator.  The  present  volume  gives  a  true  ac 
count  of  the  early  life  of  Calvin. 

M.  Audin,  as  a  sequel  to  his  History  of  Luther,  has  recently  pub 
lished  a  History  of  Calvin,  written  under  the  influence  of  deplorable 
prejudice,  and  in  which  it  is  difficult  to  recognise  the  Reformers 
and  the  Reformation. 

Perhaps,  on  another  occasion,  we  shall  make  some  addition  to 
what  we  have  said  in  our  first  book  on  the  origin  of  the  papacy. 
It  were  out  of  place  to  do  it  here. 

I  will  only  remark  in  general,  that  the  human  and  natural  causes 
which  so  well  explain  its  origin  are  precisely  those  to  which  the 
Papacy  appeals  in  order  to  demonstrate  its  divine  institution. 
Thus  Christian  antiquity  declares,  that  the  universal  episcopate 
was  committed  to  all  the  bishops,  so  that  the  bishops  of  Jerusalem, 
Alexandria,  Antioch,  Ephesus,  Rome,  Carthage,  Lyons,  Aries,  Mi 
lan,  Hippo,  Cesarea,  etc.,  took  an  interest  in  whatever  occurred 
throughout  the  Christian  world.  Shortly  after  Rome  appropriated 
to  herself  this  duty,  which  was  incumbent  on  all,  and  arguing  as  if 
it  were  her  concern  only,  converts  it  into  a  demonstration  of  her 

We  give  another  example.  The  Christian  churches  established 
in  the  great  towns  of  the  empire  sent  missionaries  to  the  countries 
to  which  they  stood  related.  This  was  done  first  of  all  by  Jeru 
salem,  then  by  Antioch,  Alexandria,  Ephesus,  'and  at  length  by 
Rome;  and  Rome  forthwith  concluded,  from  what  she  did  after 


others  and  less  than  others,  that  she  was  entitled  to  set  herself 
above  all  others.  These  examples  will  suffice. 

Let  us  only  observe  further,  that  in  the  West  Kome  alone  en 
joyed  the  honour  which  in  the  East  was  shared  by  Corinth,  Phi- 
lippi,  Thessalonica,  Ephesus,  Antioch,  and  in  a  far  higher  degree 
by  Jerusalem,1 — the  honour  of  having  had  one  or  more  apostles 
among  her  first  teachers.  Hence  the  Latin  churchfs  must  naturally 
have  had  a  certain  degree  of  respect  for  Rome.  But  never  would 
the  eastern  Christians,  though  they  honoured  her  as  the  church 
of  the  political  metropolis  of  the  empire,  acknowledge  in  her 
any  ecclesiastical  superiority.  The  celebrated  general  Council  of 
Chalcedon  assigned  to  Constantinople,  previously  the  obscure  By 
zantium,  the  same  privileges  (ra  "<ra.  ^£<r£«a)  as  Rome,  and  de 
clared  that  it  was  entitled  to  equal  dignity.  Accordingly,  when 
the  papacy  was  distinctly  formed  in  Rome,  the  East  showed  no 
desire  to  acknowledge  a  master  of  whom  it  had  never  heard ;  and 
standing  on  the  ancient  territory  of  catholicity,  abandoned  the 
West  to  the  domination  of  the  new  sect  which  had  risen  up  within 
its  bosom.  The  East  still  styles  herself,  by  way  of  pre-eminence, 
catholic  and  orthodox,  and  when  the  question  is  asked  at  one  of 
these  eastern  Christians,  whom  Rome  has  united  to  herself  by 
means  of  numerous  concessions,  "Are  you  a  Catholic?" — "No," 
he  immediately  replies,  "  I  am  papistian  "  (papist). — Journal  of 
the  Rev.  Joseph  Wolf.  London,  1839,  p.  225. 

If  this  History  has  been  subjected  to  criticism  from  the  Romish 
party,  it  has  also  been  subjected  to  it  in  a  literary  point  of  view. 
Individuals  for  whom  I  entertain  great  respect  appear  to  attach 
more  importance  to  a  political  or  literary  history  of  the  Reformation, 
than  to  an  exposition  which  points  out  its  spiritual  principles  and 
moving  springs.  I  can  understand  this  manner  of  viewing  the  sub 
ject,  but  I  cannot  adopt  it.  In  my  opinion,  the  essentials  of  the  Re 
formation  are  its  doctrines  and  inward  life.  Any  work  in  which 
these  do  not  occupy  the  first  place,  may  be  brilliant,  but  will  not 
be  faithfully  and  candidly  historical.  It  will  resemble  a  philoso 
pher,  who,  wishing  to  describe  man,  should  with  great  accuracy 
and  graphic  beauty  explain  every  thing  that  relates  to  his  body, 

1  St.  Epiphanius  says  that  our  Lord  committed  to  James  the  greater  at  Jerusalem 
his  throne  on  (arth  (rov  8-govov  O-VTOV  \-ffl  TJJJ  y»?j)'-  and  speaking  of  bishops  assembled 
at  Jerusalem,  he  declares  that  the  whole  world  (cravra  xoffftev)  ought  to  submit  to 
•Jieir  authority.  (Epiph.  Hseres.,  70, 10-78,  7.) 


Out  should  give  only  a  subordinate  place  to  the  divine  inmate,  the 

There  are  many  defects,  doubtless,  in  the  feeble  work  of  which  I 
here  present  a  new  fragment  to  the  Christian  public,  but  the  greatest 
defect  I  see  in  it  is,  that  it  does  not  breathe  still  more  of  the  spirit  of 
the  Reformation.  The  more  I  succeed  in  calling  attention  to  what 
manifests  the  glory  of  Christ,  the  more  faithful  I  am  to  history.  I 
willingly  adopt  as  my  law  those  words  which  a  historian  of  the 
sixteenth  century,  still  more  celebrated  as  a  warrior  than  a  writer, 
after  giving  a  part  of  the  history  of  Protestantism,  of  which  I  do 
not  purpose  to  treat,  addresses  to  those  who  should  think  of  com 
pleting  his  task, — "  I  give  them  the  law  which  I  take  to  myself,  and 
it  is,  that  while  seeking  the  honour  of  this  precious  instrument, 
their  principal  aim  should  be  the  glory  of  the  arm  which  prepared, 
employed,  and  wielded  it  at  pleasure.  For  all  the  praises  given  to 
princes  are  unseasonable  and  misplaced,  if  they  have  not  for  their 
aim  and  foundation  that  of  the  living  God,  to  whom  belong  hon 
our  and  dominion  for  ever  and  ever." 

Eiux-Vivr.s,  near  Geneva,  Feb.  1841. 



FIRST  KEFORMS. (1521,  1522.) 

CHAP.  I. 


Progress  of  the  Reformation — New  Period — Advantages  of  Luther's 
Captivity — Agitation  of  Germany — Melancthon  and  Luther — 
Enthusiasm,  _..--- 


Luther  in  the  Wartburg — Object  of  his  Captivity — Agonies — Sick 
ness — Labour  of  Luther — On  Confession — To  Latomus — Walks.  17 


Reformation  begins — Marriage  of  Feldkirchen — Marriage  of 
Monks — Theses — Writes  against  Monachism — Luther  ceases  to 
be  a  Monk.  ---_-,  -23 


Archbishop  Albert — The  Idol  of  Halle — Luther  apears — Terror  at 
the  Court — Luther  to  the  Archbishop — The  Archbishop's  Reply 
— Joachim  of  Brandenburg.  -  -  -  -  27 

CHAP.  V. 

Translation  of  the  Bible — Wants  of  the  Church — Principles  of  the 
Reformation — Alarm  at  Court — Luther  to  the  Archbishop — 
Temptations  of  the  Devil — Condemnation  of  the  Sorbonne — 
Melancthon's  Reply — Visit  to  Wittemberg.  -  -  -  32 


New  Reforms — Gabriel  Zwilling  on  the  Mass — The  University — 
The  Elector — Monachism  attacked — Emancipation  of  the  Monks 
— Disturbances — Chapter  of  the  Augustins — The  Mass  and  Carl 
stadt — First  Supper — Importance  of  the  Mass  in  the  Roman 
System.  -  -  -  -  -  37 


Spurious  Reform — The  new  Prophets — The  Prophets  at  Wittemberg 
— Melancthon — The  Elector — Luther,  Carlstadt,  and  Images — 
Disorders — Luther  sent  for — He  hesitates  not — Dangers.  -  46 


Departure  from  the  Wartburg — New  Position — Luther  and  Pri 
mitive  Catholicism — Meeting  at  the  Black  Bear — Luther  to  the 
Elector — Return  to  Wittemberg — Discourses  at  Wittemberg — 
Charity — the  Word — How  the  Reformation  was  effected — Faith 
in  Christ — Effect — Didymus — Carlstadt — The  Prophets — Con 
ference  with  Luther — End  of  the  Struggle.  -  -  54 




Translation  of  the  New  Testament — -Faith  and  Scripture — Opposi 
tion—Importance  of  Luther's  Publication — Need  of  a  Systematic 
Exposition — Melancthon's  CommonPlaces — Original  Sin — Salva 
tion — Free-will — Effect  of  the  Common  Places.  -  -  83 

CHAP.  X. 

Opposition — Henry  VIII — Wolsey — The  Queen — Fisher — Thomas 
More — Luther's  Books  burnt — tlenry  attacks  Luther — Presenta 
tion  to  the  Pope — .Effect  on  Luther — Force  and  violence — His 
book — Reply  of  the  Bishop  of  Rochester — Reply  by  More — Step 
by  the  King.  -  -  7fi 


General  Movement — The  Monks — How  the  Reformation  is  Accom 
plished — Ordinary  Believers — The  Old  and  the  New  Teachers — 
Printing  and  Literature — Booksellers  and  Hawkers.  -  80 


Luther  at  Zwickau — The  Castle  of  Freyberg — Worms — Frankfort 
Universal  movement — Wittemberg,  the  centre  of  the  Reformation 
— Luther's  sentiments.  -  -  -  -  -  -  92 



CHAP.  I. 

Political  element — Want  of  Enthusiasm  at  Rome — Siege  of  Pam- 
peluna — Courage  of  Inigo — •Transformation — Luther  and  Loyola 
— Visions — The  two  principles.  -  -  98 


Victory  of  the  Pope — Death  of  Leo  X — Oratory  of  Divine  Love — 
Adrian  VI — Schemes  of  Reform — Opposition.  -  -  105 


Diet  of  Nuremberg — Invasion  of  Solyman — The  Nuncio  demands 
the  Death  of  Luther — The  Preachers  of  Nuremberg — Promise  of 
Reform — National  Grievances — Decree  of  the  Diet — Thundering 
Letter  of  the  Pope — Luther's  Advice.  -  -  -  -  109 


Persecution — Efforts  of  Duke  George — The  Convent  of  Antwerp 
— Miltenberg — The  three  Monks  of  Antwerp — The  Scaffold — 
Martyrdom  at  Brussels.  -  -  -  -  -116 

CHAP.  V. 

New  Pope— The  Legate  Gampeggio — Diet  of  Nuremberg — Demand 
of  the  Legate — Reply  of  the  Diet — Project  of  a  Secular  Council 
— Alarm  and  Efforts  of  the  Pope — Bavaria — League  of  Ratisbon 
— Rigour  and  Reform— Political  Schisms— Opposition — Intrigues 
of  Rome — Edict  of  Bruges — Rupture.  -  -  -  -  1 22 



Persecution — Gaspard  Tauber — A  Bookseller — Cruelties  in  Wur- 
temberg,  Salzburg,  Bavaria,  Pomerania — Henry  of  Zuphten,  -  128 


Divisions — Lord's  Supper — Two  Extremes — Carlstadt — Luther — 
Mysticism  of  the  Anabaptists — Carlstadt  at  Orlamund — Mission 
of  Luther — Interview  at  dinner — Conference  of  Qrlamund — Carl 
stadt  banished,  -  -  133 


Progress — Resistance  to  the  Leaguers — Meeting  between  Philip  of 
Hesse  and  Melancthon — The  Landgrave  gained  to  the  Gospel — The 
Palatinate,  Luneburg,  Ilolstein — The  Grand  Master  at  Wittemberg,  139 


Reformers — The  Church  of  All  Saints — Fall  of  the  Mass — Litera 
ture — Christian  Schools — Science  offered  to  the  Laity — Arts — 
Moral  Religion,  Esthetical  Religion — Music — Poetry — Painting,  142 

CHAP.  X. 

Political  ferment — Luther  against  Revolution — Thomas  Munzer — 
Agitation — The  Black  Forest — The  Twelve  Articles — Luther's 
Advice — Helfenstein — Advance  of  the  Peasants — Advance  of  the 
Imperial  Army — Defeat  of  the  Peasants — Cruelty  of  the  Princes,  149 


Munzer  at  Mulhausen — Appeal  to  the  People — March  of  the  Princes 
— End  of  the  Revolt — Influence  of  the  Reformers — Sufferings — 
Change,  -  -  -  -  -  -  lo» 


Two  Issues — Death  of  Frederick — The  Prince  and  the  Reformer — 
Catholic  Alliance — Projects  of  Charles — Dangers,  -  1C5 


The  Nuns  of  Nimptsch — Luther's  Feelings — End  of  the  Convent — 
Luther's  Marriage — Domestic  Happiness,  -  168 


The  Landgrave — The  Elector — Prussia — Reformation — Secularisa 
tion — The  Archbishop  of  Mentz — Conference  of  Friedewalt — Diet 
— Alliance  of  Torgau — Resistance  of  the  Reformers — Alliance  of 
Magdeburg — The  Catholics  redouble  their  efforts — Marriage  of 
the  Emperor — Threatening  Letters — The  two  Parties,  -  -  173 



CHAP.    I. 

Unity  in  Diversity — Primitive  Faith  and  Liberty — Formation  of 
Roman  Unity — A  Monk  and  Leo  Juda — Theses  of  Zuinglius — 
The  Discussion  of  January,  -  -  -  -  -181 


Caresses  of  the  Pope — Progress  of  the  Reformation — The  Image  of 
Stadelhofen — Sacrilege— The  Ornaments  of  the  Saints,  -  -186 



The  October  Discussion — Zuinglius  on  the  Church — The  Church — 
First  Outline  of  Presbyterianism — Discussion  on  the  Mass — 
Enthusiasts — A  Voice  of  Wisdom — Victory — A  characteristic  of 
the  Swiss  Reformation — Moderation — Oswald  Myconius  at  Zurich 
• — The  Revival  of  Letters — Thomas  Plater  of  the  Valois,  -  189 


Diet  of  Lucerne — Hottinger  arrested — His  Death — Deputation  of 
the  Diet  to  Zurich — 'Abolition  of  Processions — Abolition  of  Images 
— The  two  Reformations — Appeal  to  the  People,  -  -  195 

CHAP.  V. 

New  Opposition — GExlin  carried  off — The  Family  of  the  Wirths — • 
The  Mob  at  the  Convent  of  Ittingen — The  Diet  of  Zug — The 
Wirths  seized  and  given  up  to  the  Diet — Condemnation,  -  201 

.  CHAP.  VI. 

Abolition  of  the  Mass — Zuinglius'  Dream — Celebration  of  the  Lord's 
Supper — Brotherly  Charity — Original  Sin — The  Oligarchs  against 
the  Reformation — Divers  Attacks,  -  207 


Berne — The  Provost  of  Watteville — First  Successes  of  the  Reforma 
tion — Haller  at  the  Convent — Accusation  and  Deliverance — The 
Monastery  of  Konigsfeld — Margaret  of  Watteville  to  Zuinglius — . 
The  Convent  open — Two  opposite  Champions — Clara  May  and 
the  Provost  of  Watteville,  -  -  -211 


Basle — (Ecolampadius — He  goes  to  Augsburg — He  enters  the  Con 
vent-He  returns  to  Sickingen—Returns  to  Basle— Ulric  Von  Hutten 
— His  projects — Last  Effort  of  Chivalry-Hutten  dies  at  Uffnan,  217 


Erasmus  and  Luther — Uncertainty  of  Erasmus — Luther  to  Erasmus 
— Work  of  Erasmus  against  Luther  on  Free  Will — Three  Opinions 
—Effect  on  Luther— Luther  on  Free  Will— The  Jansenists  and 
the  Reformers — Homage  to  Erasmus — Rage  of  Erasmus — The 
Three  Days,  -  -  222 

CHAP.  X. 

The  Three  Adversaries — Source  of  the  Truth  —  Anabaptism — 
Anabaptism  and  Zuinglius — Constitution  of  the  Church — Prison — 
The  Prophet  Blaurock — Anabaptism  at  St.  Gall — An  Anabaptist 
Family — Dispute  at  Zurich — The  limits  of  the  Reformation — 
Punishment  of  the  Anabaptists,  -282 


Popish  Immobility — Protestant  Progression — Zuinglius  and  Luther 
— Zuinglius  and  the  Lord's  Supper — Luther's  great  Principle — 
Carlstadt's  Writings  Prohibited — Zuinglius's  Commentary — The 
Suabian  Syngram — Capito  and  Bucer — Need  of  Unity  in  Di- 
rersity,  -  -  -  -  -  -  238 




The  Tockenburg — An  Assembly  of  the  People — Reformation — The 
Grisons — Discussion  of  Ilantz — Results — Reformation  at  Zurich,  245 


Executions — Discussion  at  Baden — Rules  of  the  Discussion — Riches 
and  Poverty — Eck  and  (Ecolampadius — Discussion — Part  taken 
by  Zuinglius — Boasting  of  the  Romans — Insults  of  a  Monk — 
End  of  the  Discussion,  -  -  -  249 


Consequences  at  Basle,  Berne,  St.  Gall,  and  other  places — Diet  at 
Zurich — The  Small  Cantons — Menaces  at  Berne — Foreign  Aid,  254 


THE  FRENCH.— (1500-1526.) 

CHAP.  I. 

Universality  of  Christianity — Enemies  of  the  Reformation  in  France 
— Heresy  and  Persecution  in  Dauphiny — A  Gentleman's  Family 
— The  Family  Farel — Pilgrimage  to  St.  Croix — Immorality  and 
Superstition — William  desires  to  become  a  Student,  -  -  259 


Louis  XII,  and  the  Assembly  of  Tours — Francis  and  Margaret — The 
Literati — Lefevre — His  teaching  at  the  University — Lefevre  and 
Farel  meet — Doubts  and  Inquiries  of  Farel — First  awakening — • 
Prophecy  of  Lefevre — He  teaches  Justification  by  Faith — Objec 
tions — Irregularities  in  Colleges — Effects  on  Farel — Election — - 
Holiness  of  Life,  -  -  -  -  -  -  265 


Farel  and  the  Saints — The  University — Conversion  of  Farel— Farel 
and  Luther — Other  Disciples — Date  of  the  Reformation  in  France 
• — The  different  Reformation  spontaneous — Which  is  the  First  ? — 
Place  due  to  Lefevre,  -  -  -  274 


Character  of  Francis  I — Beginning  of  Modern  times — Liberty  and 
Obedience — Margaret  of  Valois — The  Court — Brigonnet,  Count 
of  Montbrun — Lefevre  applies  to  the  Bible — Francis  I  and  his. 
"Sons" — The  Gospel  brought  to  Margaret — A  Conversion — 
Adoration — Character  of  Margaret.  -  -  278 

CHAP   V. 

Enemies  of  the  Reformation — Louisa — Duprat — Concordat  at  Bo 
logna — Opposition  of  the  Parliament  and  the  University — The  Sor- 
bonne — Beda — His  character — His  Tyranny — Berquin,  the  most 
learned  of  the  nobles — The  Leaders  of  the  Sorbonne — Heresy  of 
the  three  Magdalenes — Luther  Condemned  at  Paris — The  Sor 
bonne  addresses  the  King — Lefevre  quits  Paris  for  Meaux,  -  286 


Brigonnet  visits  his  Diocese — Reformation — The  Reformers  Prose 
cuted  at  Paris — Philibert  of  Savoy — .Correspondence  of  Margaret 
and  Brioonnet,  -  293 

First  beginnings  of  the  Church  of  Meaux — -The  Scriptures  in  French 



— The  Tradesmen  and  the  Bishop — Evangelical  Harvest — The 
Epistles  of  St.  Paul  sent  to  the  King— Lefevre  and  Roma — .The 
Monks  before  the  Bishop — The  Monks  before  the  Parliament — 
Brigonnct  yields,  -  -  300 


Lefevre  and  Farel  Persecuted — Difference  between  the  Lutheran 
and  Reformed  Churches — Leclerc  puts  up  his  Pancartes — Leclerc 
Branded — Zeal  of  Berquin — Berquin  before  the  Parliament — 
Francis  I  saves  him — Apostacy  of  Mazurier — Fall  and  grief  of 
Pavanne — Metz — 'Chatelain — Peter  Toussaint  becomes  attentive 
— Leclerc  breaks  Images — Condemnation  and  Torture  of  Leclerc 
— Martyrdom  of  Chatelain — Flight,  -  -  -  307 


Farel  and  his  brothers — Farel  driven  from  Gap — He  preaches  in  the 
fields — Chevalier  Anemond  of  Coct — The  Minorite — Anemond 
quits  France — .Luther  to  the  Duke  of  Savoy — Farel  quits  France,  318 

CHAP.  X. 

Catholicity  of  the  Reformation — Friendship  of  Farel  and  CEcolam- 
padius — -Farel  and  Erasmus — Altercation — .Farel  calls  for  a  Dis 
cussion — Theses — Scripture  and  Faith — Discussion,  -  -  328 


New  Campaign — Calling  of  Farel  to  the  Ministry — An  advanced 
post — Lyons  an  Evangelical  Focus — Sebville  at  Grenoble — Con 
venticles — Preaching  at  Lyons — Maigret  in  Prison — Margaret 
intimidated,  -  -  329 


The  French  at  Basle — Encouragement  of  the  Swiss — Fear  of  dis 
union — Translations  an'd  Printing  Presses  at  Basle — Bibles  and 
Tracts  circulated  in  France,  -  335 


Progress  at  Montbeliard — Opposition  and  Disturbance — Toussaint 
quits  (Ecolampadius — The  day  of  the  Bridge— Death  of  Anemond 
— Successive  Defeats,  ------  310 


Francis  taken  at  Pavia — Reaction  against  the  Reformation — Louisa 
consults  the  Sorbonne — Commission  against  the  Heretics — Bri- 
gonnet  denounced — Appeal  to  the  Assembled  Parliament — Fall — • 
Reconciliation — Lefevre  accused — Condemnation  and  flight— Le 
fevre  at  Strasburg — Lo,uia  de  Berquin  incarcerated — Erasmus 
attacked — Schuch  at  Nantz — His  Martyrdom — Contest  with  Ca- 
roli — Sadness  of  Pavanne — His  Faggot  Pile — A  Christian  Hermit 
— Concourse  at  Notre  Dame.  -  -  345 


A  Scholar  of  Noyon — Character  of  young  Calvin — Early  Education 
— He  is  devoted  to  Theology — The  bishop  gives  him  the  tonsure 
— He  quits  Noyon  because  of  the  Plague — The  Reformation  cre 
ates  new  languages — Persecution  and  terror — Toussaint  put  into 
prison — Persecution  gives  new  strength — Death  of  Du  Blet,  Mer 
lin,  and  Papillon — God  saves  the  Church— -Project  of  Margaret 
— Departure  for  Spain,  -  ,  -  -  -  365 






CHAP.  I. 


Progress  of  the  Reformation— New  Period — Advantages  of  Luther's  Captivity — Agita 
tion  of  Germany — Melancthon  and  Luther — Enthusiasm.    .    .•  .    „ 

FOUR  years  had  elapsed  since  an  ancient  doctrine  had  again 
been  preached  in  the  church.  The  great  doctrine  of  salvation  by 
grace  formerly  published  in  Asia,  Greece,  and  Italy,  by  Paul  and 
his  brethren,  and  again  after  several  centuries  discovered  in  the 
Bible  by  a  monk  of  Witteniberg,  had  echoed  from  the  plains  of 
Saxony  to  Eome,  Paris,  and  London,  and  the  lofty  mountains  of 
Switzerland  had  repeated  its  energetic  accents.  The  fountains  of 
truth,  liberty,  and  life  had  been  again  opened  to  humanity.  Crowds 
had  repaired  thither  and  quaffed  with  joy,  but  those  who  had  press 
ed  forward  and  taken  the  draught  had  preserved  their  former 
appearance.  All  within  was  new,  and  yet  all  without  seemed  to 
have  remained  as  before. 

The  constitution  of  the  Church,  its  ritual,  and  discipline,  had  not 
undergone  any  change.  In  Saxony,  at  Wittemberg  even,  in  every 
place  where  the  new  ideas  had  penetrated,  the  papal  worship  gravely 
continued  its  pomp ;  the  priest  at  the  foot  of  the  altar,  in  offering 
the  host  to  God,  seemed  to  produce  an  ineffable  transformation ; 
monks  and  nuns  entered  convents  to  undertake  obligations  that 
were  to  bind  them  for  ever ;  pastors  lived  not  as  heads  of  fami 
lies,  brotherhoods  assembled,  pilgrimages  were  performed  ;  the 


faithful  hung  up  their  votive  offerings  on  the  pillars  of  chapels; 
and  all  ceremonies,  even  to  the  most  insignificant  formality  of  the 
sanctuary,  were  celebrated  as  before.  There  was  a  new  doctrine 
in  the  world,  but  it  had  not  given  itself  a  new  body.  The  language 
of  the  priest  formed  a  striking  contrast  to  the  proceedings  of  the 
priest.  He  was  heard  thundering  from  the  pulpit  against  the  mass 
as  an  idolatrous  worship,  and  then  seen  descending  and  taking  his 
place  before  the  altar,  to  celebrate  this  pompons  ceremony  with 
scrupulous  exactness.  Every  where  the  new  gospel  resounded  be 
side  the  ancient  ritual.  The  priest  himself  did  not  perceive  the 
strange  inconsistency,  and  the  people  who  listened  with  acclama 
tion  to  the  bold  discourses  of  the  new  preachers,  devoutly  observed 
their  ancient  customs  as  if  they  were  never  to  abandon  them.  At 
the  domestic  hearth  and  in  social  life,  as  in  the  house  of  God,  every 
thing  remained  the  same.  There  was  a  new  faith  in  the  world, 
but  not  new  works.  The  season  of  spring  had  appeared,  but  win 
ter  seemed  still  to  hold  nature  in  chains  ;  no  flowers — no  leaves — 
nothing  external  gave  indication  of  the  new  season.  But  these  ap 
pearances  were  illusory  ;  a  potent,  though  hidden  sap  was  already 
circulating  beneath,  and  on  the  eve  of  changing  the  world. 

To  this  course,  a  course  fraught  with  wisdom,  the  Reformation 
perhaps  owes  its  triumphs.  Prior  to  the  actual  accomplishment 
of  any  revolution  there  must  be  a  revolution  in  thought.  The 
inconsistency  already  alluded  to  did  not  even  strike  Luther 
at  the  first  glance.  He  seemed  to  consider  it  quite  natural  that, 
while  men  were  receiving  his  writings  with  enthusiasm,  they 
should  at  the  same  time  remain  devotedly  attached  to  the  abuses 
which  these  writings  attacked.  It  might  even  be  thought  that  he 
had  traced  out  his  plan  beforehand,  and  resolved  to  produce  a 
change  of  minds  before  introducing  a  change  of  forms.  Thisr  how 
ever,  were  to  ascribe  to  him  a  wisdom  the  honour  of  which  belongs 
to  a  higher  source.  He  executed  a  plan  which  was  not  of  his  own 
devising.  These  matters  he  was  able  at  a  later  period  to  acknow 
ledge  and  comprehend,  but  he  had  not  imagined  them,  and  accord 
ingly  had  not  regulated  them.  God  took  the  lead ;  Luther's  part 
was  to  follow. 

Had  Luther  begun  with  an  external  reform :  had  he,  immediately 
after  he  had  spoken,  attempted  to  abolish  monastic  vows,  the  mass, 
confession,  and  the  existing  forms  of  worship,  he  should  undoubt 
edly  have  encountered  the  keenest  opposition.  Man  must  have 
time  before  he  can  adapt  himself  to  great  revolutions.  Luther  was 
by  no  means  the  violent,  imprudent,  rash  innovator  that  some  his 
torians  have  represented.1  The  people  seeing  nothing  changed  la 

1  See  I-Iiune,  etc. 


the  routine  of  their  devotions,  committed  themselves  without  distrust 
to  their  new  leader.  They  were  even  astonished  at  the  attacks 
directed  against  a  man  who  left  them  their  mass,  beads,  and  confes 
sor,  and  attributed  these  attacks  to  the  grovelling  jealousy  of  obscure 
rivals,  or  the  cruel  injustice  of  powerful  adversaries.  Meanwhile 
Lather's  ideas  aroused  the  minds  of  men,  improved  their  hearts,  and 
so  undermined  the  ancient  edifice  that  it  soon  fell  of  its  own  accord, 
without  any  human  hand.  Ideas  do  not  act  instantaneously:  they 
make  their  way  in  silence,  like  water  which,  filtering  behind  rocks, 
detaches  them  from  the  mountain  on  which  they  rest :  all  at  once 
the  work  done  in  secret  manifests  itself,  and  a  single  day  suffices 
to  display  the  work  of  several  years,  perhaps  several  ages. 

A  new  era  in  the  reformation  commences.  The  truth  is  already 
re-established  in  doctrine,  and  doctrine  is  now  going  to  re-estab 
lish  the  truth  in  all  the  forms  of  the  church  and  of  society.  The  agi 
tation  is  too  great  for  men's  minds  to  remain  fixed  and  immovable  at 
the  point  at  which  they  have  arrived.  On  those  dogmas  which  have 
been  so  powerfully  shaken  depend  customs  which  are  beginning  to 
give  way,  and  which  must  disappear  along  with  them.  There  is 
too  much  courage  and  life  in  the  new  generation  to  feel  under  con 
straint  in  the  presence  of  error.  Sacraments,  ritual,  hierarchy, 
vows,  constitution,  domestic  life,  public  life,  all  are  about  to  be 
modified.  The  ship  which  has  been  slowly  and  laboriously  built 
is  about  to  leave  the  dock  and  be  launched  on  the  vast  ocean.  We 
shall  have  to  follow  its  track  across  numerous  perils. 

The  captivity  of  the  Wartburg  separates  these  two  periods.  Pro 
vidence,  which  designed  to  give  a  mighty  impulse  to  the  Refor 
mation,  had  prepared  its  progress  by  leading  him  who  was  selected 
to  be  the  instrument  of  it  into  profound  retirement.  For  a  time  the 
work  seemed  buried  with  the  workman  ;  but  the  seed  must  be  de 
posited  in  th*>-  earth  in  order  to  produce  fruit,  and  from  the  prison 
which  seemed  destined  to  be  the  Reformer's  tomb  the  Reformation 
is  going  to  come  forth  to  make  new  conquests,  and  rapidly  diffuse 
itself  over  the  whole  world. 

Hitherto  the  Reformation  had  been  concentrated  in  the  person 
of  the  Reformer.  His  appearance  before  the  Diet  of  Worms  was 
undoubtedly  the  sublimest  moment  of  his  life.  His  character  then 
appeared  almost  exempt  from  blemish,  and  hence  it  has  been  s'aid, 
that  if  God  who  hid  the  Reformer  during  ten  months  within 
the  walls  of  the  Wartburg  had,  at  that  moment,  withdrawn  him 
for  ever  from  the  eye  of  the  world,  his  end  would  have  been  a  kind 
of  apotheosis.  But  God  wills  not  an  apotheosis  for  his  servants  ; 
and  Luther  was  preserved  to  the  Church  in  order  that  he  might 
show  by  his  very  faults  that  the  faith  of  Christians  must  be  founded 


oil  the  word  of  God  alone.  He  was  abruptly  transported  far  from 
the  scene  where  the  great  revolution  of  the  sixteenth  century  was  in 
course  of  accomplishment ;  the  truth  which  he  had  for  four  years 
so  powerfully  preached  continued  in  his  absence  to  act  upon  Chris 
tendom,  and  the  work  of  which  he  Avas  only  a  feeble  instrument 
thenceforth  bore  not  the  impress  of  a  man  but  the  seal  of  God 

Germany  was  moved  by  the  captivity  of  Luther.  The  most 
contradictory  reports  circulated  throughout  her  provinces.  Men's 
minds  were  more  agitated  by  the  absence  of  the  Reformer  than 
they  would  have  been  by  his  presence.  Here  it  was  affirmed  that 
friends,  who  had  come  from  France,  had  set  him  in  safety  on  the 
other  bank  of  the  Rhine.1  There  it  was  said  that  assassins  had 
put  him  to  death.  Even  the  smallest  villages  were  anxious  for 
information  about  Luther;  the  passing  traveller  was  interrogated, 
and  groups  assembled  in  the  market  place.  Sometimes  an  un 
known  orator  gave  the  people  an  animated  narrative  of  the  manner 
in  which  the  doctor  had  been  carried  off;  he  showed  the  barbar 
ous  horsemen  binding  fast  the  hands  of  their  prisoner,  hastening  at 
full  speed,  dragging  him  on  foot  behind  them,  wearing  out  his 
strength,  shutting  their  ears  to  his  cries,  causing  the  blood  to  spring 
from  his  fingers.2  "  The  dead  body  of  Luther,"  added  he,  u  has 
been  seen  pierced  with  wounds."  3  Then  cries  of  grief  were  heard. 
"  Ah,"  said  the  multitude,  "  no  more  shall  we  see,  no  more  shall 
we  hear  the  noble-minded  man  whose  voice  stirred  our  hearts." 
The  friends  of  Luther  muttering  wrath  swore  to  avenge  his  death. 
Women  and  children,  the  lovers  of  peace,  and  the  aged  looked  for 
ward  with  alarm  to  new  struggles.  Nothing  could  equal  the  ter 
ror  of  the  partisans  .of  Rome.  The  priests  and  monks,  thinking 
themselves  sure  of  victory,  because  one  man  was  dead,  at  first  had 
been  unable  to  conceal  their  joy,  and  had  raised  their  heads  with 
an  insulting  air  of  triumph,  but  now  they  would  gladly  have  fled 
far  away  from  the  wrath  and  threats  of  the  people.4  These  men, 
who,  while  Luther  was  at  liberty,  had  given  free  vent  to  their  fury, 
trembled  now  that  he  was  captive.5  Aleander  especially  was  in 
consternation.  "  The  only  means  of  safety  now  left  us,"  wrote  a 

1  Hie  .  .  .  invalescit  opinio,  me  essc  ab  amicis  captum  Francia  missis.  (L.  Ep.  ii, 
5.)  Here  JIM  opinion  gains  ground  that  I  was  taken  away  by  friends  who  had  been 
sent  from  France.  2  Et  iter  festinantes  cursu  equitis  ipsum  pedestrem 

raptim,  tractum  fuisse  ut  sanguis  e  digitis  eruui])eret.(Cuch.  3'J.)  And  while  the  horse 
men  hastened  on  at  speed,  he  was  dragged  behind  on  foot,  so  that  the  blood  sprang 
from  his  fingers.  3  Fuit  qni  it-status  sit,  visum  a  se  Lutheri  cadaver  trans- 

fossum.  (Pallav.  Hist.  Cone.  Trid.  i,  p.  122.)  There  was  one  who  declared  that  he 
had  seen  Luther's  body  pierced  with  wounds.  *  Molem  vulgi  imminentes 

ferre  non  possum.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  ]"  )  Are  unable  to  withstand  the  threats  of  the  com 
mon  people.  5  Qui  me  libero  insanierunt  nunc,  me  captivo  ita  formidant  ut 
iueipiant  mitigare.  (Ibid.)  They  raged  when  I  was  free,  but  m,w  that  I  am  a  cap 
tive  begin  to  soi'ten  from  terror. 



Roman  Catholic  to  the  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  "is  to  kindle  torches 
and  make  a  search  for  Luther  over  the  whole  world,  in  order  to  re 
store  him  to  the  wishes  of  the  nation." l  It  might  have  been  said 
that  the  Reformer's  ghost,  all  pale,  and  clanking  its  chains,  had  ap 
peared  to  spread  terror  and  demand  vengeance.  The  general  ex 
clamation  was,  "  Luther's  death  will  cause  torrents  of  blood  to 

No  where  were  the  minds  of  men  more  deeply  agitated  than  at 
Worms  itself;  energetic  measures  were  proposed  both  among  people 
and  princes.  Ulrich  von  Hiitten  and  Hermann  Busch  filled  the 
country  with  their  plaintive  songs  and  warlike  cries.  Chartes  V 
and  the  nuncios  were  loudly  accused.  The  nation  took  up  the 
cause  of  the  poor  monk,  who  by  the  power  of  his  faith  had  become 
its  chief. 

At  Wittemberg,  his  colleagues  and  friends,  Melancthon  especi 
ally,  were  at  first  astounded  with  grief.  Luther  had  imparted 
to  this  young  scholar  the  treasures  of  that  sacred  theology  which 
had  thenceforth  completely  filled  his  soul.  It  was  Luther  who  had 
given  substance  and  life  to  the  purely  intellectual  culture  which 
Melancthon  had  brought  to  Wittemberg.  The  profundity  of  the 
Reformer's  doctrine  had  struck  the  young  Hellenist,  and  his  cour 
age  in  maintaining  the  rights  of  the  eternal  word  against  all  human 
authority,  had  filled  him  with  enthusiasm.  He  had  been  associ 
ated  with  him  in  his  work ;  he  had  seized  the  pen,  and  in  that 
admirable  style  which  he  had  derived  from  the  study  of  antiquity, 
had  successfully,  and  with  a  powerful  hand,  lowered  the  authority 
of  the  Fathers  and  the  authority  of  Councils  before  the  sovereign 
Word  of  God. 

The  decision  which  Luther  had  in  action  Melancthon  had  in 
science.  Never  were  more  diversity  and  more  unity  exhibited  in 
two  individuals.  "  Scripture,"  said  Melancthon,  "  imparts  to  the 
soul  a  holy  and  marvellous  delight.  It  is  a  heavenly  ambrosia."  s 
"  The  Word  of  God,"  exclaimed  Luther,  "  is  a  sword,  a  war,  a 
destruction ;  it  springs  upon  the  children  of  Ephraim  like  the  lion 
ess  in  the  forest."  Thus,  in  Scripture,  the  one  saw  a  power  of 
consolation,  and  the  other  an  energetic  opposition  to  the  corruption 
of  the  world.  Both  held  it  to  be  the  greatest  thing  on  earth,  and 
hence  they  understood  each  other  perfectly.  "  Melancthon,"  said 
Luther,  "  is  a  miracle  :  all  now  acknowledge  this.  He  is  the  most 
formidable  enemy  of  Satan  and  the  schoolmen,  for  he  knows  their 

1  Nos  vitam  vix  redempturos,  nisi  accensis  candelis  xmdique  eum  requiramus. 
(Ibid.)  We  shall  scarcely  ransom  our  lives  unless  \ve  Ifcht  candles  and  search  for 
liim  every  where.  2  GerbelL  Ep.  in  MSS.  Ileckelianis  Lindner  Leb.  Luth. 

p.  241.  3  Mirabilis  in  iis  voluptas.  immo  ambrosia  quoedam  ccelestis.     (C  rp. 

Ref.  i,  323.*  There  is  a  wondrous  pleasure  in  them  (the  Scriptures,)  nay  a  kind  of 
heavenly  ambrosia. 


folly,  and  the  rock  which  is  Christ.  This  little  Greek  surpasses 
me  even  in  theology  :  he  will  be  as  useful  to  you  as  many 
Luthers."  And  he  added,  that  he  was  ready  to  abandon  an  opinion 
if  Philip  did  not  approve  of  it.  Melancthon,  on  his  part,  full  of 
admiration  for  the  knowledge  which  Luther  had  of  Scripture,  placed 
him  far  above  the  fathers  of  the  Church.  He  had  a  wish  to  excuse 
the  pleasantries  for  which  Luther  was  sometimes  upbraided,  and 
compared  him  to  a  vessel  of  clay  containing  precious  treasure 
under  a  coarse  covering.  "  I  will  take  good  care  not  to  blame 
him  for  them  inconsiderately,"  said  he.1 

But  these  two  souls  so  intimately  united  are  now  separated. 
These  two  valiant  soldiers  can  no  longer  march  together  for  the 
deliverance  of  the  Church.  Luther  has  disappeared,  and  is  per 
haps  lost  for  ever.  The  consternation  of  Wittemberg  was  extreme  : 
it  might  have  been-  likened  to  an  army  standing  with  sullen  and 
downcast  look  over  the  bloody  remains  of  the  general  who  was 
leading  them  on  to  victory. 

Suddenly  intelligence  the  most  gratifying  was  received.  "  Our 
dearly  beloved  father  lives,"  2  exclaimed  Melancthon  in  the  joy  of 
his  heart,  "  take  courage  and  be  strong."  But  grief  soon  resumed 
the  ascendancy.  LntlnT  was  alive  but  in  prison.  The  edict  of 
Worms  with  its  cruel  prescriptions,3  had  been  circulated  by  thou 
sands  throughout  the  empire,  and  even  in  the  mountains  of  the 
Tyrol.4  Could  the  Reformation  avoid  being  crushed  by  the  iron 
hand  which  lay  upon  it  ?  Melancthon's  gentle  spirit  sank  within 
him  while  he  uttered  a  ciy  of  grief. 

But  above  the  hand  of  man  a  more  powerful  hand  was  at  work : 
God  himself  deprived  the  formidable  edict  of  its  force.  The  German 
princes  who  had  always  sought  to  humble  the  power  of  Eome  in 
the  empire,  trembled  on  seeing  the  alliance  of  the  emperor  with 
the  pope,  and  feared  lest  it  should  result  in  the  destruction  of  all 
their  liberties.  Accordingly,  though  Charles,  on  his  passage  through 
the  Low  Countries,  smiled  ironically  as  he  saluted  the  flames  which 
some  flatterers  and  fanatics  were  kindling  in  the  public  places  with 
the  writings  of  Luther,  these  writings  were  read  in  Germany 
with  constantly  increasing  avidity,  and  every  day  new  pamphlets 
appeared  to  support  the  Reformation,  and  make  new  assaults  on  the 
papacy.  The  nuncios  were  disconcerted  out  of  measure  on  seeing 
that  the  edict,  which  had  cost  them  so  much  injustice,  produced  so 
little  effect.  "  The  ink  of  the  Emperor's  signature,"  said  some 

1  Spiritum  Martini  nolim  tenere  in  hoc  causa  interpellare.  (Corp.  Ref.  i,  211.)  I 
would  be  unwilling  in  this  matter  to  interdict  Martin's  humour.  -  Pater 

noster  charissimus  vivit.     (Ibid,  p,  389.)  s  Dicitur  parari  proscriptio  horrenda. 

(Ibid.)    It  is  said  that  a  horrible  proscription  is  being  prepared.  *  Dicuntu 

signataj  chartaj  proscriptiones  bis  mille  missae  quoque  ad  Insbruck.  (Ibid.)  Two 
thousand  copies  of  the  proscription  were  said  to  hare  been  sent  as  far  as  lus-bnick. 


witli  bitterness,  "  was  scarcely  dry,  before  the  decree  itself  was 
every  where  torn  in  pieces  .  .  .  The  people  become  more  and  more 
attached  to  the  wondrous  man  who  unawed  by  the  thunders  of 
Charles  and  the  pope,  had  confessed  his  faith  with  the  courage  of  a 
martyr.  "He  offered  to  retract,"  observed  others,  "if  he  was  re 
futed,  but  none  ventured  to  undertake  the  refutation.  Is  not  this 
a  proof  that  what  he  teaches  is  true  ?  "  Accordingly,  at  Wittem- 
berg  and  throughout  the  empire,  the  first  movement,  of  alarm  was 
succeeded  by  a  movement  of  enthusiasm.  Even  the  Archbishop 
of  Mentz,  seeing  how  strongly  the  sympathy  of  the  people  was  ex 
pressed,  did  not  venture  to  give  permission  to  the  Cordeliers  to 
preach  against  the  Keformer.  The  university,  which  seemed  on 
the  eve  of  destruction,  raised  its  head.  There  the  new  doctrines 
were  two  well  established  to  be  shaken  by  Luther's  absence.  In 
a  short  time  the  academic  halls  could  scarcely  contain  the  crowds 
of  hearers.1 


Luther  in  the   Wartburg — Object  of  his   Captivity— Agonies — Sickness — Labour  of 
Luther — On  Confession — To  Latoiuus —  Walks. 

Meanwhile  Knight  George  (this  was  Luther's  name  in  the  Wart- 
burg)  lived  solitary  and  unknown.  "  If  you,  saw  me,"  wrote 
he  to  Melancthon,  "  you  would  take  me  for  a  knight,  and  would 
scarcely  be  able  to  recognise  me."  2  Luther  at  first  took  some  re 
pose,  enjoying  a  leisure  which  he  had  never  tasted  till  this  time. 
He  moved  freely  within  the  fortress,  but  could  not  go  beyond  its 
walls.3  All  his  wants  were  supplied,  and  he  had  never  been  bet 
ter  treated.4  Many  thoughts  filled  his  soul,  but  none  could  trouble 
him.  He  cast  his  eyes  alternately  to  the  surrounding  forests,  and 
raised  them  towards  heaven — "  A  singular  captive !"  exclaimed 
he,  "  captive  both  with  and  against  my  will."  5 

Writing  to  Spalatin,  he  says,  "  Pray  for  me  ;  your  prayers  are 
the  only  thing  I  want.  I  give  myself  no  concern  with  all  that  is 
said  and  done  with  regard  to  me  in  the  world.  At  length  I  am  at 
rest."  6  .  .  .  .  This  letter,  as  well  as  several  others  of  the  same 

1  Scholastic!  quorum  supra  millia  ibi  tune  fuerunt.  (Spalatini  Annales,  1521 
Octo.)  The  students,  of  whom  there  were  then  above  a  thousand. 

3  Equitem  videres  ac  ipse  vix  agnosceres.  (L  Ep.  ii,  11.)  You  would  see  a  knight, 
nnd  would  yourself  scarcely  recognise  me.  3  Nunc  sum  hie  otiosus,  sicut  inter  cap- 
tivos  liber,  (Tbid.,  p.  3, 12  May.)  1  am  now  at  leisure — free,  as  it  were,  among  captives. 

*  Quanquam  et  hilariter  et  libenter  omnia  mihi  minis  tret.  (Ibid.,  p.  13,  Aug.  lf>.) 
Although  he  both  willingly  and  cheerfully  supplies  me  with  every  thing.  5  Ego 

mirabilis  captivus  qui  et  volens  et  nolens  hie  sedeo.  (Ibid.,  p.  4,  May  12.)  lama 
strange  captive,  sitting  here  both  willing  and  unwilling.  6  Tu  fac  ut  pro  me  ores; 


period,  is  dated  from  the  isle  of  Patmos.  Luther  compared  the 
Wartburg  to  the  celebrated  island  to  which  the  anger  of  the  em-, 
peror  Domitian  banished  the  apostle  John. 

The  Reformer  reposed  amid  the  dark  forests  of  Thuringia  from 
the  violent  struggles  which  had  agitated  his  soul.  Here  he  stu 
died  Christian  truth,  not  for  disputation,  but  as  a  means  of  rege 
neration  and  life.  The  commencement  of  the  Reformation  be 
hoved  to  be  polemical ;  new  times  demanded  new  exertions.  Af 
ter  rooting  up  the  thorns  and  brambles,  it  was  necessary  to  sow 
the  seed  peacefully  in  men's  hearts.  Had  Luther  been  obliged  in 
cessantly  to  fight  new  battles,  he  could  not  have  accomplished  a 
lasting  work  in  the  Church.  By  his  captivity  he  escaped  a  danger 
which  might  perhaps  have  destroyed  the  Reformation — that  of 
always  attacking  and  destroying,  without  ever  defending  and 
building  up. 

This  humble  retreat  produced  a  result  still  more  precious.  Rais 
ed  as  it  were  upon  a  pedestal  by  his  countrymen,  he  was  within 
a  step  of  the  abyss,  and  a  moment  of  giddiness  might  have  sufficed 
to  throw  him  headlong  into  it.  Some  of  the  first  agents  in  the 
Reformation  in  Germany  and  Switzerland  were  dashed  to  pieces 
against  the  rock  of  spiritual  pride  and  fanaticism.  Luther  was  a 
man  very  subject  to  the  infirmities  of  our  nature,  and  he  did  not 
entirely  escape  these  dangers.  Still  the  hand  of  God  delivered  him 
from  them  for  a  time,  by  suddenly  withdrawing  him  from  intoxi 
cating  triumphs,  and  consigning  him  to  the  depth  of  an  unknown 
retreat.  His  soul  there  communed  with  itself  near  to  God ;  it  was 
there  bathed  in  the  waters  of  adversity;  his  sufferings,  his  humilia 
tions,  constrained  him  at  least  for  a  time  to  walk  with  the  humble, 
and  the  principles  of  the  Christian  life  thenceforth  were  developed 
in  his  soul  with  new  energy  and  freedom. 

Luther's  quiet  was  not  of  long  duration.  Seated  on  the  walls  of 
the  Wartburg,  he  spent  whole  days  absorbed  in  profound  medita 
tion.  Sometimes  the  Church  presented  herself  to  his  mind,  and 
displayed  all  her  miseries  before  him.1  At  other  times  turning  his 
eye  upwards  with  hope  towards  heaven,  he  exclaimed,  "How,  () 
Lord,  couldst  thou  have  made  all  men  in  vain ! "  (Ps.  Ixxxix,  47.) 
At  other  times,  again  abandoning  this  hope,  he  was  downcast  and 
exclaimed,  "  Alas,  there  is  no  one,  in  the  last  day  of  His  wrath, 
who  can  stand  as  a  wall  before  the  Lord  to  save  Israel !  .  .  ." 

Then  returning  to  his  own  destiny,  he  feared  lest  he  should  be 

hac  una  r?  opus  rrihi  est.  Quicquid  de  mo  fit  in  publico,  nihil  moror ;  ego  in  quiete 
tandem  sedeo.  (Ibid.,  p.  4,  June  10, 1521.)  Do  you  pray  for  me.  As  to  what  is  done 
concerning  me  in  public  I  care  not:  at  length  I  sit  in  quietness. 

1  Ego  hie  sedens  tota  die  facicm  Ecclesise  ante  me  constituo.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  1.)  I,  sit- 
ting  here  a  whole  day,  figure  to  myself  the  appearance  of  the  Church. 


accused  of  having  abandoned  the  field  of  battle,1  and  the  idea  af 
flicted  his  soul.  "  I  would  far  rather,"  said  he,  "  be  laid  on  burn 
ing  coals  than  stagnate  here  half  dead."2 

oSText  transporting  himself  in  imagination  to  Worms  and  Wit- 
temberg  to  the  midst  of  his  enemies,  he  regretted  that  he  had  yield 
ed  to  the  counsels  of  his  friends,  instead  of 'remaining  in  the  world, 
and  offering  his  breast  to  the  fury  of  men.3  "  Ah,"  said  he,  "  there 
is  nothing  I  desire  more  than  to  present  myself  before  my  cruel 

Still  some  sweet  thought  arose,  and  gave  a  truce  to  these  agon 
ies.  All  was  not  torment  to  Luther  ;  from  time  to  time  his  agi 
tated  spirit  found  some  degree  of  calmness  and  consolation.  After 
the  assurance  of  divine  aid,  his  greatest  solace  in  his  grief  was  the 
remembrance  of  Melancthon.  "  If  I  perish,"  wrote  he  to  him,  "  the 
gospel  will  lose  nothing ; 5  you  will  succeed  me  as  Elisha  did,  with 
a  double  measure  of  my  spirit."  But  calling  to  mind  Philip's  ti 
midity,  he  cried  to  him  aloud,  "Minister  of  the  word,  guard  the 
walls  and  towers  of  Jerusalem  until  the  adversary  strike  you.  We 
are  still  standing  alone  on  the  field  of  battle  :  after  me  they  will 
next  assail  you." 6 

The  thought  of  this  last  attack  which  Rome  was  going  to  make 
on  the  rising  Church  threw  him  into  new  anxiety.  The  poor  monk, 
a  solitary  prisoner,  had  violent  wrestling  with  himself.  But  sud 
denly  he  obtained  a  glimpse  of  his  deliverance.  It  occurred  to 
him  that  the  attacks  of  the  papacy  would  arouse  the  nations  of 
Germany,  and  that  the  soldiers  of  the  gospel,  proving  victorious, 
would  surround  the  Wartburg  and  give  liberty  to  the  prisoner. 
"  If  the  pope,"  said  he,  "  lays  hands  on  all  who  are  for  me,  there 
will  be  a  commotion  in  Germany ;  the  more  haste  he  makes  to 
crush  us,  the  more  speedy  will  be  the,  end  both  of  him  and  his. 
And  I ...  will  be  restored  to  you.7  God  awakening  many  minds, 
and  stirring  up  the  nations.  Let  our  enemies  only  seize  our  cause 
in  their  arms  and  try  to  strangle  it ;  it  will  grow  under  their  grasp, 
and  come  forth  ten  times  more  formidable." 

But  sickness  brought  him  down  from  those  heights  to  which  his 
courage  and  his  faith  had  elevated  him.  He  had  already  suffer- 

1  Verebar  ego  ne  aciera  deserere  viderer.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  1.)  I  feared  lest  I  should  seem 
to  have  deserted  the  field.  2  Mallem  inter  carbones  vivos  ardere,  quam  solus  se 

mivivns,  atque  nfinam  nun  inortuus  putere.  (Ibid. ,10.)  I  would  rather  burn  among 
live  coals  than  remain  alone  half  alive  ;  and  I  wish  it  may  not  prove  a  noisome  car 
case.  (Ibid.,  p.  10.)  3  Cervicem  esse  objectandam  publico  furori.  (Ibid.,  p.  89.) 
That  I  ought  to  expose  my  neck  to  the  public  fury.  *  Nihil  magis  opr<>  quam 
furoribus  adversariorum  occurrere,  objecto  jugulo.  (Ibid.,  p.  1.)  I  desire  nothing  more 
than  to  meet  the  fury  of  adversaries,  offering  them  my  nock.  5  Etiam  si  peream, 
nihil  perebit  Evangelio.  (Ibid.,  p.  10.)  Even  if  I  perish,  nothing  will  perish  to  the 
gospel.  6  jfos  R0ii  adhuc  stamus  in  acie :  te  quserent  post  me.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  2.) 

7  Quo  citius  id  tentaverit,  hoc  citius  et  ipse  et  sui  peribunt.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  10.)  The 
sooner  he  attempts  it,  the  sooner  he  and  his  will  perish 


ed  much  at  Worms,  and  his  illness  increased  in  solitude.1  He 
could  not  digest  the  food  of  the  Wartburg,  which  was  somewhat 
less  homely  than  that  of  his  convent :  it  was  necessary  to  return  to 
the  poor  fare  to  which  he  had  been  accustomed.  He  passed 
whole  nights  without  sleep.  Anguish  of  mind  was  added  to  bodily 
suffering.  No  work  is  accomplished  without  pain  and  self-denial. 
Luther,  alone  upon  his  rock,  endured  in  his  powerful  nature  a 
passion  which  the  emancipation  of  humanity  rendered  necessary. 
"  Seated  at  night  in  my  chamber,"  says  he,  "  I  sent  forth  cries  like 
a  woman  in  travail — torn,  wounded,  and  bleeding."2  Then,  inter 
rupting  his  complaints,  and  impressed  with  the  thought  that  his 
sufferings  were  benefits  from  God,  he  gratefully  exclaims,  "Thanks 
be  rendered  unto  thee,  O  Christ,  in  that  thou  hast  been  pleased  not 
to  leave  me  without  the  precious  relics  of  thy  holy  cross ! "  3  He 
soon  becomes  indignant  at  himself,  and  exclaims,  "Infatuated, 
hardened  creature  that  I  am !  How  grievous !  'I  pray  little,  I 
wrestle  little  with  the  Lord,  I  do  not  groan  for  the  church  of  God.4 
Instead  of  being  fervent  in  spirit,  my  passions  only  are  inflamed  ; 
I  remain  in  sloth,  sleep,  and  indolence."  Then,  not  knowing  to 
what  this  state  should  be  ascribed,  and  accustomed  to  expect  every 
thing  from  the  affection  of  his  brethren,  he  exclaims,  in  the  desola 
tion  of  his  soul,  "  O,  my  friends,  is  it  because  you  forget  to  pray 
for  me  that  God  is  thus  estranged  from  me !  " 

Those  about  him,  as  well  as  his  friends  at  Wittemberg  and  in  the 
Elector's  court,  were  uneasy  and  alarmed  at  this  state  of  suffering . 
They  trembled  to  think,  that  a  life  snatched  from  the  scaffold 
of  the  pope  and  the  sword  of  Charles  V,  should  sadly  wane  and 
vanish  away.  Can  the  Wartburg  be  destined  to  be  the  tomb  of 
Luther?  "I  fear,"  said  Melancthon,  "that  the  grief  which  he  feels 
for  the  church  will  be  his  death.  A  torch  has  been  kindled  by  him 
in  Israel:  if  it  is  extinguished  what  hope  will  be  left  us?  Would  to 
God  I  were  able,  at  the  cost  of  my  miserable  life,  to  detain  in  the 
world  one  who  is  its  brightest  ornament."5  "O,  what  a  man!" 
he  exclaims,  as  if  he  were  on  the  borders  of  the  tomb,  "we  have 
not  duly  appreciated  him." 

What  Luther  called  the  unbecoming  indolence  of  his  prison  was 
labour  almost  above  man's  utmost  strength.  "  I  am  here  every  day," 
said  he,  (14th  May,)  "injklleness  and  luxury,  (referring,  doubtless, 
to  his  fare,  which  at  first  was  not  quite  so  coarse  as  he  had  been 

1  Auctura  est  malum,  quo  Wormatiae  laborabam.  (Ibid.,  p.  17.)  The  illness  with 
which  I  was  attacked  at  Worms  increased.  a  Sedeo  dolens  sicut  pue^pera,  lacer  , 

et  saucius,  et  cruentus.    (Ibid.,  p.  50, 9th  Sept.)  »  Gratius  Christo,  qui  me  sine 

reliquiis  sanctse  crucis  non.derelinquit.     (Ibid.)  *  Nihil  gemens  pro  ecclesia  Dei. 

(Ibid.,  p.  22, 13th  July.)  5.Utinara  hau  vilL  anima  mea  ipsius  vitam  emere  queam 

(Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  415,  6ch  July.)     I  wish  I  ware  able,  with  this  wurthie ss  life  »fminpj_to 
purchase  his  life. 



accustomed  to.)  I  read  the  Bible  in  Hebrew  and  Greek :  I  am  going  to 
write  a  discourse  in  German  on  auricular  confession:  I  will  continue 
the  translation  of  the  Psalms,  and  compose  a  collection  of  sermons 
as  soon  as  I  get  from  Wittemberg  what  I  require.  I  write  without 
intermission ;" 1  and  yet  these  were  only  a  part  of  Luther's  labours. 

His  enemies  thought  that  if  he  was  not  dead,  at  all  events, 
his  voice  would  not  again  be  heard  :  but  their  joy  was  of  short 
duration,  and  the  world  was  not  left  long  in  doubt  whether  he  were 
alive.  A  multitude  of  writings,  composed  in  the  Wartburg,  ap 
peared  in  rapid  succession,  and  the  cherished  voice  of  the  Reformer 
was  every  where  received  with  enthusiasm.  Luther  published  at 
once  works  fitted  to  edify  the  Church  and  polemical  treatises,  which 
interrupted  the  too  hasty  joy  of  his  enemies.  For  nearly  a  year  he 
instructed,  exhorted,  rebuked,  and  thundered  from  his  mountain 
top,  and  his  adversaries,  confounded,  asked  whether  there  were 
not  some  supernatural  mystery  in  this  prodigious  activity.  "  He 
could  not  rest,"  says  Cochlojus.2 

The  only  mystery  was,  the  impudence  of  the  partisans  of  Rome : 
They  hastened  to  avail  themselves  of  the  Edict  of  Worms  to  give 
a  mortal  blow  to  the  Reformation,  while  Luther,  condemned,  placed 
under  the  ban  of  the  empire,  and  shut  up  in  the  Wartburg,  stood 
forth  to  defend  sound  doctrine  as  if  he  had  been  still  free  and  vic 
torious.  It  was  in  the  confessional  especially  that  the  priests  strove 
to  rivet  the  chains  of  their  deluded  parishioners,  and  accordingly 
confession  was  the  object  of  Luther's  first  attack.  "  They  found," 
says  he,  "  on  the  words  of  St.  James,  '  Confess  your  sins  one  to 
another?  Singular  confession !  He  says,  '  one  to  another  J  whence 
it  should  follow,  that  confessors  ought  also  to  confess  to  their  peni 
tents  ;  that  every  Christian  should,  in  his  turn,  be  pope,  bishop, 
priest,  and  that  the  pope  himself  should  confess  to  all."  3 

Scarcely  had  Luther  finished  this  small  work,  than  he  began 
another.  Latomus  a  theologian  of  Louvain,  already  celebrated  for  his 
opposition  to  Reuchlin  and  Erasmus,  had  attacked  the  views  of  the 
Reformer.  In  twelve  days  Luther's  refutation  was  ready,  and 
it  is  one  of  his  master-pieces.  He  vindicates  himself  from  the 
charge  of  wanting  moderation.  "  The  moderation  of  the  age," 
isays  he,  "  is  to  bend  the  knee  before  sacrilegious  pontiffs,  impious 
sophists,  and  address  them  as  gracious  lord !  excellent  master ! 
Then  when  you  have  done  so,  you  may  put  to  death  whomsoever 
you  please ;  overturn  the  world,  nay,  you  will  still  be  a  moderate 
man.  Far  from  me  be  this  moderation.  I  like  better  to  be  frank 

1  Sine  intermissione  scribo.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  pp.  6.  Ifi.)  2  Cum  quiescere  non  pos. 

pet.    (Cochloeus,  Acta  Lutheri,  p.  8'J.J  3  Und  der  Papst  mlisse  ihm  beiubten.    (L. 

Op.  xvii,  p.  701.) 


and  deceive  nobody.    The  shell,  perhaps,  is  hard,  but  the  kernel  is 
sweet  and  tender."  l 

Luther's  health  continuing  to  decline,  he  thought  of  quitting  the 
Wartburg.  But  how  was  he  to  do  it  ?  To  appear  in  public  was 
to  risk  his  life.  The  back  of  the  mountain  on  which  the  fortress 
stood  was  traversed  by  numerous  paths,  the  sides  of  which  were 
bordered  with  tufts  of  strawberries.  The  massy  gate  of  the  castle 
was  opened,  and  the  prisoner  ventured,  not  without  fear,  stealthily 
to  gather  some  of  the  fruit.2  He  became  bolder  by  degrees,  and 
began  to  survey  the  surrounding  country  in  his  knight's  dress,  and 
attended  by  a  guard  of  the  castle,  a  blunt  but  trustworthy  man. 
One  day  having  entered  an  inn  he  threw  aside  his  sword,  which  en 
cumbered  him,  and  ran  towards  some  book  which  happened  to  be 
lying.  Nature  was  stronger  than  prudence.  His  attendant  trembled 
fearing  that  a  proceeding  so  unusual  in  a  warrior  would  be  regarded  as 
a  proof  that  the  doctor  was  not  a  true  knight.  On  another  occasion 
the  two  warriors  descended  into  the  convent  of  Keichardsbrunn. 
where  Luther  had  slept  a  few  months  before,  on  his  way  to  Worms.3 
Suddenly  a  friar  allowed  a  sign  of  surprise  to  escape  from  him. 
Luther  is  recognised.  His  attendant  perceives  it,  and,  dragging 
him  off  in  all  haste,  they  gallop  away  far  from  the  convent,  before 
the  poor  friar  has  time  to  recover  from  his  astonishment. 

The  chivalric  life  of  the  doctor  occasionally  partook  strongly  of 
the  theological.  One  clay  the  nets  are  prepared,  the  gates  of  the 
fortress  are  thrown  open,  and  the  dogs  with  long  flapping  ears  rush 
forth.  Luther  had  wished  to  taste  the  pleasures  of  the  chace.  The 
hunters  soon  become  animated,  the  dogs  dart  along,  and  drive  the 
brown  hares  among  the  brush-wood.  In  the  midst  of  the  turmoil 
the  chevalier  George,  standing  motionless,  had  his  mind  filled  with 
serious  thoughts;  at  the  sight  of  the  objects  around  him  his  heart 
is  bursting  with  grief.4  "Is  it  not,"  said  he,  "  an  image  of  the 
devil  who  arouses  his  dogs,  in  other  words,  the  bishops,  those  mes 
sengers  of  antichrist,  and  hounds  them  on  in  pursuit  of  poor 
souls."  5  A  young  hare  had  just  been  caught,  and  Luther,  happy 
to  save  it,  wraps  it  carefully  in  his  cloak,  and  places  it  under  a 
bush.  Before  he  proceeds  many  steps  the  dogs  scent  out  the  poor 
creature  and  kill  it.  Luther  attracted  by  the  noise,  utters  a 
cry  of  grief, — "  t)  pope  !"  says  he,  "  and  thou  Satan!  it  is  thus  you 

1  Cortex  meus  esse  potest  durior,  sed  nucleus  meus  molli^  et  dulcis  cst.    (L.  Op. 
xvfi,  Lat.  ii,  p.  213.)  My  husk  may  be  somewhat  hard,  but  my  kernel  is  soft  and  sweet. 

2  Zu  zeiten  gehet  er  inn  die  Erdbe^r  am  Schlossberg.    (Mathesius,  p.  33.)  »  See 
the  Second  Vol.              *  Theologisabar  etiam  ibi  inter  retia  et  canes  .  .  tantum  mis- 
erioordias  et  doloris  miscuit  mysterium.      (L.  Ep.  ii.  p.  43:)      I  theologised  them  also 
among  nets  and  dogs:  it  produced  such  a  mixture  of  pity  and  grief. 

5  Quid  enim  ista  imago,  nisi  Diabolum  significat  per  insidias  suas  et  impios  magis- 
ros  canes  suos.  .  .  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  43.)  For  what  does  that  represent  but  the  devil  witb 
snares  and  the  impious  masters,  his  dogs. 


strive  to  destroy  even  those  souls  which  have  beeu  already  saved 
from  death."  L 

CHAP.  in. 

The  Reformation  begins— Marriage  of  Feldkirchen— Marriage  of  Monks— Theses- 
Writes  against  Monachism — Luther  ceases  to  be  a  Monk. 

While  the  doctor  of  Wittemberg,  dead  to  the  world,  was  relax 
ing  himself  by  these  sports  in  the  environs  of  the  Wartburg,  the 
work  was  advancing  as  of  itself;  the  Reformation  had  commenced. 
No  longer  confining  itself  to  doctrine,  it  energetically  advanced 
into  act.  Bernard  Feldkirchen,  pastor  of  Kemberg,  who,  under  the 
direction  of  Luther,  had  first  attacked  the  errors  of  Rome,2  was  also 
the  first  to  throw  off  the  yoke  of  her  institutions.  He  married. 

The  German  character  delights  in  domestic  life  and  the  joys  of 
home;  accordingly  of  all  the  ordinances  of  the  papacy,  that  of 
forced  celibacy  had  produced  the  worst  consequences.  The  im 
position  of  this  law  on  the  heads  of  the  clergy  had  prevented  the 
fiefs  of  the  Church  from  becoming  hereditary.  But  when  extended 
by  Gregory  VII  to  the  lower  clergy,  it  had  led  to  deplorable  re 
sults.  Many  priests  had  evaded  the  obligations  imposed  on  them 
by  shameful  irregularities,  and  brought  hatred  and  contempt  on 
their  order,  while  those  who  had  submitted  to  Hildebrand's  law 
felt  inwardly  indignant  against  the  Church,  because  at  the  same  time 
that  it  gave  its  high  dignitaries  so  much  power,  wealth,  and  worldly 
enjoyment,  it  forced  humble  ministers,  who  were,  however,  its 
most  useful  supports,  to  sacrifices  altogether  contrary  to  the  Gospel. 

"  Neither  popes  nor  councils,"  said  Feldkirchen  and  another 
pastor  named  Seidler,  who  followed  his  example,  "  can  impose  on 
the  Church  an  ordinance  which  endangers  soul  and  body.  The 
obligation  to  maintain  the  law  of  God  constrains  us  to  violate  the 
traditions  of  men."3  The  reestablishment  of  marriage  in  the 
sixteenth  century  was  an  act  of  homage  to  the  moral  law.  The 
ecclesiastical  authority,  taking  alarm,  immediately  launched  its  de 
crees  against  the  two  priests.  Seidler,  who  was  in  the  territories  of 
duke  George,  was  given  up  to  his  superiors,  and  died  in  prison.  But 
the  elector  Frederick  refused  to  give  up  Feldkirchen  to  the  arch 
bishop  of  Magdeburg.  "  His  Highness,"  said  Spalatin,  "  has  no 

1  Sic  ssevit  Papa  et  Satan  ut  servatas  etiam  animas  perdat.   (Ibid.,  p.  44.)     So  rage 
the  1'ope  and  Satan,  in  order  to  destroy  even  souls  that  have  been  saved. 

2  Volume  First.  8  Cue'git  me  ergo  ut  humanas  traditiones  violarem.r.ecessi- 
tes  servandi  juris  divini.     (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  441.)      The  necessity -of  keeping  the  Jtvii:o 
law  compelled  me  to  violate  human  traditions. 


wish  to  act  as  a  police  officer."  Feldkirchen,  therefore,  though 
he  had  become  a  husband  and  a  father,  continued  pastor  of  his 

The  first  emotion  of  the  Reformer  on  learning  these  things  was 
to  give  expression  to  his  joy.  "I  admire  this  new  husband  of  Kem- 
berg  who  fears  nothing,  and  hastens  into  the  midst  of  the  tumult." 
Luther  was  convinced  that  priests  ought  to  marry.  But  this 
Question  led  to  another — the  marriage  of  monks,  and  here  Luther 
had  to  maintain  one  of  those  internal  combats  of  which  his  whole 
life  was  composed ;  for  every  reformation  must  be  effected  by  an  in 
tellectual  struggle.  Melancthon  and  Carlstadt,  the  one  a  layman 
and  the  other  a  priest,  thought  that  the  liberty  of  entering  into  the 
bonds  of  marriage  ought  to  belong  to  monks  as  well  as  to  priests. 
Luther,  a  monk,  did  not  think  so  at  first.  One  day  the  governor  of 
the  Wartburg  having  brought  him  some  theses  of  Carlstadt,  on  ce 
libacy,  "  Good  God'!"  exclaimed  he,  u  will  our  Wittembergers  give 
wives  to  monks  even !"....  The  idea  astonished  and  confounded 
him  ;  his  mind  was  troubled.  The  liberty  which  he  claimed  for 
others  he  rejected  for  himself.  "  Ah !"  exclaimed  he  with  indigna 
tion,  "  at  all  events  they  will  not  force  me  to  take  a  wife."  l  This 
saying  is  doubtless  unknown  to  those  who  pretend  that  Luther  effect 
ed  the  Reformation  in  order  that  he  might  be  able  to  many.  Seek 
ing  the  truth  honestly,  not  through  passion,  he  defended  whatever 
presented  itself  to  him  as  true,  though  it  might  be  contrary  to  his 
system  as  a  whole.  He  moved  in  a  mixture  of  truth  and  error, 
waiting  the  time  when  all  error  would  fall  and  truth  alone  remain. 

There  was  in  fact  a  great  difference  between  the  two  questions. 
The  marriage  of  the  priests  did  not  put  an  end  to  the  priesthood ; 
on  the  contrary,  it  alone  could  restore  the  secular  clergy  to  the 
respect  of  the  people ;  but  the  marriage  of  monks  was  the  destruc 
tion  of  monachism.  The  question  then  was  to  determine  whether 
it  was  necessary  to  break  up  and  disband  the  mighty  army  which 
the  popes  held  under  their  command.  "  The  priests,"  wrote  Lu 
ther  to  Melancthon,  "  are  appointed  of  God,  and  consequently  are 
free  in  regard  to  human  commandments.  But  the  monks  have 
voluntarily  chosen  celibacy,  and  therefore  are  not  free  to  withdraw 
themselves  from  the  yoke  of  their  own  choice."  2 

The  Reformer  behoved  to  advance  and  carry  this  new  position 
of  the  adversary  by  means  of  a  new  struggle.  He  had  already 
put  under  his  feet  many  abuses  of  Rome  and  Rome  itself,  but 

1  At  mihi  non  obtrudent  uxorem.     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  40.)     But  they  should  not  obtrude 
a  wife  upon  me.  2  Me  inem  vehementer  movet,  quod  sacerdotum  ordo,  a  Deo  in- 

stitutus,  est  liber,  non  autem  monachorum  qui  sua  sponte  statum  eligerunt.  (Ibid. 
t\.  84.)  I  am  exceedingly  moved  by  the  thought,  that  the  order  of  priests  instituted 
by  God  is  free,  not  so  that  of  the  monks  who  have  spontaneously  chosen  their  state. 


monachisin  was  still  standing.  Monacbism,  which  of  old  carried 
life  into  so  many  deserts,  and  which  after  traversing  many  cen 
turies,  now  filled  so  many  cloisters  with  indolence  and  often  with 
luxury,  seemed  to  have  personified  itself  and  come  to  defend  its 
rights  in  the  castle  of  Thuringia,  where  was  to  be  decided  in  the 
conscience  of  a  single  man  the  question  of  its  life  or  its  death. 
Luther  wrestled  with  it.  Sometimes  he  was  on  the  point  of  over 
coming  it,  and  sometimes  he  was  on  the  point  of  being  overcome. 
At  length,  unable  any  longer  to  maintain  the  combat,  he  prostrated 
himself  in  prayer  at  the  feet  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  exclaimed,  "  In 
struct  us !  deliver  us !  In  thy  mercy  establish  us  in  the  liberty 
which  belongs  to  us,  for  certainly  we  are  thy  people."  * 

He  had  not  to  wait  for  deliverance:  an  important  revolution  was 
produced  in  the  Keformer's  mind,  and  it  was  again  the  doctrine  of 
justification  by  faith  that  gave  him  the  victory.  This  weapon  be 
fore  which  had  fallen  in  the  mind  of  Luther  and  of  Christendom, 
indulgences,  the  discipline  of  Eome,  and  the  pope  himself,  also 
effected  the  downfall  of  the  monks.  Luther  saw  that  monachism 
and  the  doctrine  of  salvation  by  grace  were  in  flagrant  opposition, 
and  that  monastic  life  was  founded  entirely  on  the  pretended  merits 
of  man.  Thenceforth,  convinced  that  the  glory  of  Jesus  Christ 
was  at  stake,  he  heard  a  voice  within  incessantly  repeating, 
"  Monachism  must  fall."  "  So  long,"  said  he,  "  as  the  doctrine 
of  justification  continues  in  the  Church  unimpaired,  no  man  will 
become  a  monk." 2  This  conviction  always  acquired  more  strength 
in  his  heart,  and  in  the  beginning  of  September  he  sent  "  to  the 
bishops  and  deacons  of  the  Church  of  Wittemberg  "  the  following 
theses,  which  formed  his  declaration  of  war  against  monastic  life. 

"Whatsoever  is  not  of  faith  is  sin."  (Rom.  xiv,  23.) 

"  Whosoever  makes  a  vow  of  virginity,  chastity,  or  service  to 
God  without  faith,  makes  an  impious  and  idolatrous  vow,  and 
makes  it  to  the  devil  himself. 

"  To  make  such  vows  is  to  be  worse  than  the  priests  of  Cybele, 
or  the  vestals  of  the  heathen ;  for  the  monks  pronounce  their  vows 
in  the  idea  that  they  are  to  be  faithful  and  saved  by  them,  and 
what  ought  to  be  ascribed  solely  to  the  mercy  of  God,  is  thus  at 
tributed  to  the  merit  of  works. 

"  Such  convents  should  be  completely  overturned  as  houses  of 
the  devil. 

"There  is  only  one  order  which  is  holy  and  produces  holiness, 
and  that  is  Christianity  or  faith.3 

1  Dominus  Jesus  erudiat  etliberet  nos,  per  misericordiam  suam,  in  libertatem  noa. 
tram.  (To  Melancthon  on  Celibacy,  6th  August,  1621,  pi  40.)  May  the  Lord  Jesus 
instruct  us,  and  in  his  mercy  put  us  in  possession  of  our  freedom !  2  L.  Op.  (W.) 

xxii,  p.  1468.  3  Es  ist  nicht  melir  denn  eine  einige  Geistlichkeit,  die  da  heilig  ist, 

und  heilig  macht.    .    .    .    (L.  Op.  xvii,  p.  718.) 



"  Convents,  to  be  useful,  should  be  schools  in  which  children 
might  be  trained  to  man's  estate,  whereas  they  are  houses  in  which 
full  grown  men  again  become  children,  and  so  continue  ever  after." 

We  see  that  at  this  period  Luther  would  still  have  tolerated 
convents  as  houses  of  education,  but  his  attacks  on  these  establish 
ments  soon  became  more  energetic.  The  immorality  of  cloisters, 
and  the  shameful  practices  which  prevailed  in  them,  were  vividly 
present  to  his  mind.  "  I  am  desirous,"  wrote  he  to  Spalatin  on 
the  llth  ISTov.  "  to  deliver  young  people  from  the  infernal  flames  of 
celibacy."  1  Then  he  wrote  a  treatise  against  celibacy,  and  dedi 
cated  it  to  his  father.  "  Are  you  desirous,"  said  he  in  his  dedica 
tion  to  the  old  man  of  Mansfield,  "  are  you  still  desirous  to  snatch 
me  from  monasticism?  You  are  entitled  to  do  so:  for  you  are 
still  my  father,  and  I  am  still  your  son ;  but  it  is  no  longer  neces 
sary  ;  God  has  gone  before  you,  and  snatched  me  from  it  by  his 
own  power.  What  matters  it  whether  I  continue  or  lay  aside  the 
tonsure  and  monk's  hood  ?  Is  it  the  hood,  is  it  the  tonsure  that 
makes  a  monk  ?  All  things  are  yours,  says  St.  Paul,  and  you  are 
Christ's.  I  belong  not  to  the  hood,  but  the  hood  to  me.  I  am  a 
monk,  and  yet  not  a  monk  ;  I  am  a  new  creature,  not  of  the  pope 
but  of  Jesus  Christ.  Christ  alone,  and  without  any  intermediate 
person,  is  my  bishop,  my  abbot,  my  prior,  my  lord,  my  father,  and 
I  know  no  other.  What  matters  it  to  me  though  the  pope  should 
condemn  and  butcher  me  ?  He  will  not  be  able  to  bring  me  forth 
from  the  tomb  to  do  it  a  second  time.  The  great  day  is  approach 
ing  when  the  kingdom  of  abominations  will  bo  overthrown. 
Would  to  God  we  were  worthy  of  being  butchered  by  the  pope.  Our 
blood  would  cry  to  Heaven  against  him,  and  thus  his  judgment 
would  be  hastened,  and  his  end  brought  near."  2 

The  transformation  had  been  produced  in  Luther  himself;  he 
was  no  longer  a  monk.  This  change  was  not  the  result  of  exter 
nal  causes,  of  human  passions,  of  carnal  precipitancy.  There  had 
been  a  struggle  in  it.  Luther  had  at  first  been  arrayed  on  the  side 
of  monachism  ;  but  truth  also  had  entered  the  lists,  and  monachism 
had  been  vanquished.  The  victories  which  passion  gains  are 
ephemeral,  whereas  those  of  truth  are  durable  and  decisive. 

1  Adolescentes  liberare  ex  isto  inferno  ccelibatus.    (L.  Op.  ii,  p.  95.)  2  Dass 

miser  Blut  mocht  schreien  und  dringen  seiii  Gericiit.  dass  sein  bald  ein  Ende  winds 
(I bid.,  p.  105) 



Archbishop  Albert—The  Idol  of  Halle— Luther  appears— Terror  at  the  Court- 
Luther  to  the  Archbishop— The  Archbishop's  Reply— Joachim  of  Brandenburg. 

While  Luther  was  thus  making  preparation  for  one  of  the  greatest 
revolutions  which  was  to  be  effected  in  the  Church ,~and  while  the 
Reformation  was  beginning  to  act  so  powerfully  on  the  state  of 
society  in  Christendom,  the  partisans  of  Rome,  blinded  as  those 
usually  are  who  have  long  been  in  possession  of  power,  imagined 
that  because  Luther  was  in  the  Wartburg,  the  Reformation  was 
for  ever  dead  and  buried,  and  that  henceforth  they  would  be  able  in 
peace  to  resume  their  ancient  practices  after  being  momentarily 
disturbed  by  the  monk  of  Wittemberg.  Albert,  the  Archbishop- 
Elector  of  Mentz,  was  one  of  those  feeble  spirits,  who,  when  all 
things  are  equal,  are  in  favour  of  truth,  but  as  soon  as  their  interest 
it?  thrown  into  the  balance,  are  ready  to  array  themselves  on  the  side  of 
error.  The  great  point  with  him  was,  that  his  court  should  be  as 
brilliant  as  that  of  any  prince  in  Germany,  his  equipage  as  rich, 
and  his  table  as  well  supplied,  and  to  this  end  the  traffic  in  indul 
gences  contributed  admirably.  Hence,  no  sooner  had  the  decree 
condemning  Luther  and  the  Reformation  issued  from  the  imperial 
chancery,  than  Albert,  who  was  then  with  his  court  at  Halle,  as 
sembled  the  indulgence  merchants  who  were  still  in  alarm  at  the 
preaching  of  the  Reformer,  and  tried  to  encourage  them  by  such 
words  as  these, — "  Fear  no  more;  we  have  reduced  him  to  silence; 
let  us  again  begin  to  clip  the  flock ;  the  monk  is  captive ;  he  is  under 
lock  and  key,  and  will  this  time  be  dexterous  indeed  if  he  again 
comes  to  disturb  us."  The  market  was  opened  anew,  the  mer 
chandise  exhibited,  and  the  churches  of  Halle  resounded  once  more 
with  the  harangues  of  the  quacks. 

But  Luther  was  still  alive,  and  his  voice  was  powerful  enough 
to  pierce  the  walls  and  bars  behind  which  he  had  been  hid.  No 
thing  could  inflame  his  indignation  to  a  higher  degree.  What!  the 
fiercest  battles  have  been  fought,  he  has  faced  all  dangers,  the  truth 
has  come  off  victorious,  and  yet  men  dare  to  trample  it  under  their 
feet  as  if  it  had  been  vanquished.  .  .  .  The  doctrine  which  has 
already  once  overthrown  this  criminal  traffic  will  again  be  heard. 
"  I  shall  have  no  rest,"  wrote  he  to  Spalatin,  "  till  I  have  attacked 
the  idol  of  Mentz,  and  its  prostitutions  at  Halle."  1 

1  Non  continebor  quin  idolum  Moguntinmn  invadam,  cum  suo  lupanari  Ilallensi. 
(L.Ep.  ii.  p.  59,  7th  Oct.)  I  shall  not  be  prevented  from  attacking  the  idol  of  Meutz. 
with  his  brothel  at  Halle. 


Luther  forthwith  set  to  work;  he  gave  himself  little  concern 
about  the  mysteriousness  with  which  it  was  sought  to  envelope  his 
residence  in  the  Wartburg.  Elijah  in  the  desert  forges  new  thun 
derbolts  against  impious  Ahab.  On  the  1st  November  he  finished 
a  tract  against  the  new  idol  of  Halle. 

The  archbishop  received  intelligence  of  Luther's  design.  Appre 
hensive  and  frightened  at  the  thought,  he,  about  the  middle  of  Octo 
ber,  sent  two  officials  of  his  court,  Capito  and  Auerbach,  to  Wit- 
temberg  to  lay  the  storm.  "  It  is  necessary,"  said  they  to 
Melancthon,  who  most  courteously  received  them,  "  it  is  necessary 
for  Luther  to  moderate  his  impetuosity."  But  Melancthon,  though 
mild  himself,  was  not  one  of  those  who  imagine  that  wisdom  consists 
in  always  yielding,  always  equivocating,  always  holding  one's  peace. 
"  It  is  God  himself  who  calls  him,"  replied  he,  "  and  our  age  stands 
in  need  of  an  acrid  .and  pungent  salt."  *  Capito  then  turned  to 
Jonas  and  endeavoured  through  him,  to  act  upon  the  court  at  which 
intelligence  of  Luther's  design  had  already  arrived,  and  produced 
the  greatest  consternation.  "  What !"  said  the  courtiers,  "  revive 
the  flames  which  there  has  been  so  much  difficulty  in  extinguish 
ing  !  Luther  can  only  be  saved  by  allowing  himself  to  be  forgotten, 
and  here  he  is  setting  himself  in  opposition  to  the  first  prince  of  the 
empire."  "  I  wont  allow  Luther,  said  the  Elector,  "  to  write 
against  the  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  and  thereby  disturb  the  public 
peace."  2 

Luther  felt  indignant  when  these  words  were  reported  to  him. 
It  is  not  enough  to  imprison  his  body  :  they  must  also  chain  his 
mind,  and  truth  herself.  Do  they  imagine  that  he  conceals  him 
self  from  fear,  and  that  his  retirement  is  an  acknowledgment  of 
defeat  ?  He,  on  the  contrary,  maintains  that  it  is  a  victory.  Whor 
then,  at  Worms,  dared  to  rise  up  against  him  and  to  contradict 
the  truth  ?  Accordingly  when  the  prisoner  of  the  Wartburg  had 
read  the  chaplain's  letter,  which  made  him  aware  of  the  prince's 
sentiments,  he  threw  it  from  him,  determined  not  to  reply  to  it. 
But  he  could  not  long  refrain,  and  he  again  lifted  the  letter.  "The 
Elector  will  not  permit !"  .  .  .  . — wrote  he  to  Spalatin — "  and  I 
will  not  suffer  the  Elector  not  to  permit  me  to  write  .  .  .  Sooner 
rain  you  for  ever — you,  the  Elector — the  whole  world.3  If  I  have 
resisted  the  pope  who  is  the  creature  of  your  cardinal,  why  should 
I  yield  to  his  creature  ?  It  is  really  good  to  hear  you  say,  that  the 
public  peace  must  not  be  disturbed,  while  you  allow  others  to  dis- 

1  Huic  seculo  opus  csse  acerritno  sale.  (Corp.  Ref.  i,  403.)  This  age  stands  in  need 
of  a  very  pungent  salt.  2  Non  pas^urum  priricipem,  scribi  in  Mo^untinum.  (I* 

Ep.  ii,  p.  94.)  That  the  prince  will  not  allow  any  thing  to  be  written  against  the  arch 
bishop  of  Mentz.  y  Potiu.s  te  et  principem  ipsnm  perdam  et  otnnem  ereaturam. 
(Ibid.)  I  will  rather  destroy  you  and  the  prince  hi n; self  and  every  creature. 


turb  the  eternal  peace  of  God.  It  will  not  be  so,  O  prince.1  I 
send  you  a  tract  which  I  had  already  prepared  against  the  cardinal, 
before  I  received  your  letter.  Hand  it  to  Melancthon  .  .  .  ."" 

The  perusal  of  this  manuscript  made  Spalatin  tremble.  He 
again  represented  to  the  Reformer  how  imprudent  it  would  be  to 
publish  a  work  which  would  compel  the  imperial  government  to 
lay  aside  its  apparent  ignorance  of  Luther's  fate,  and  to  punish  a 
prisoner  who  dared  to  attack  the  first  prince  of  the  empire  and  the 
Church.  If  Luther  persisted  in  this  design,  peace  was  again  dis 
turbed,  and  the  Reformation  perhaps  lost.  Luther  consented  to 
delay  the  publication  of  his  treatise  ;  he  even  allowed  Melancthon 
to  erase  the  strongest  passages,2  But  indignant  at  the  timidity  of 
his  friend,  he  wrote  to  the  chaplain,  "He  lives,  he  reigns — the 
Lord  in  whom  you  court  folks  believe  not,  at  least,  if  he  does  not  so 
accommodate  his  works  to  your  reason,  that  there  is  no  longer 
occasion  to  believe  any  thing."  He  forthwith  resolved  on  writing 
directly  to  the  elector  cardinal. 

It  is  the  whole  episcopate  that  Luther  brings  to  his  bar  in  the 
person  of  the  primate  of  Germany.  His  words  are  those  of  an  in 
trepid  man,  burning  with  zeal  for  the  truth,  and  under  a  conscious 
ness  of  speaking  in  the  name  of  God  himself. 

Writing  from  the  depth  of  the  retreat  in  which  he  was  concealed, 
he  says,  "  Your  Electoral  Highness  has  again  set  up  in  Halle 
the  idol  which  devours  the  silver  and  the  souls  of  poor  Christians. 
You  think,  perhaps,  that  I  am  off  the  field,  and  that  his  imperial 
majesty  will  easily  stifle  the  cries  of  the  poor  monk.  ....  But 
know  that  I  will  discharge  the  duty  which  Christian  charity  im 
poses  on  me,  without  fearing  the  gates  of  hell  and  a  fortiori,  with 
out  fearing  the  pope,  bishops,  and  cardinals. 

"  Wherefore,  my  most  humble  prayer  is,  that  your  Royal  Highness 
will  call  to  mind  the  commencement  of  this  affair,  and  how  one  small 
spark  produced  a  fearful  conflagration.  Then  also  the  whole  world 
felt  secure.  The  thought  was — the  poor  mendicant  who  is  dis 
posed,  single-handed,  to  attack  the  pope,  is  too  feeble  for  such  a 
work.  But  God  interposed,  and  has  given  the  pope  move  toil  and 
anxiety  than  he  ever  had  since  he  seated  himself  in  the  temple  of 
God,  to  domineer  over  the  Church.  The  same  God  still  lives :  let 
no  man  doubt  it.3  He  knows  how  to  withstand  a  cardinal  of 
Meritz,  were  he  even  supported  by  four  emperors ;  for  be  loves 
above  all  things,  to  bow  down  the  lofty  cedars  and  humble  proud 

2  Non  sic,  Spalatine,  noti  sic,  pvii  c  p*.  (T..  Fp.  ii,  p.  'H.)  Not  so,  0  Rv.r-laUii!  rot 
ao,0  prince!  -  Ut  acerhiuru  tratlnt.  ( IlrU:..  j>.  110.)  TiuMc-.-riing  bi  ..uM  <.  oulu 

.ess  be  radat.  '  LVi  Kjlbi^  (jott  k'Let  iitch,  ua  zvvtild  vur  i.j..L.;<iiid  uu    .     .    . 

Ibid.,  p.  118.) 


"  Wherefore,  I  hereby  give  your  Highness  to  wit,  that  if  the 
idol  is  not  cast  down,  I  must,  in  obedience  to  the  command  of  God 
publicly  attack  your  Highness,  as  I  have  attacked  the  pope  him. 
self.  Let  your  Highness  act  upon  this  notice  ;  I  expect  a  prompt 
and  good  answer  within  a  fortnight.  Given  in  my  desert,  Sunday 
after  St.  Catherine's  day,  1521,  by  your  Electoral  Highness's  hum 
ble  and  devoted,  MARTIN  LUTHER." 

This  letter  was  sent  to  Wittemberg,  and  from  Wittemberg  to 
Halle,  where  the  cardinal  elector  then  resided,  no  attempt  was 
made  to  stop  it  in  its  course,  as  it  was  foreseen  what  a  storm  such 
an  audacious  proceeding  would  have  called  forth.  But  Melancthou 
accompanied  it  with  a  letter  to  the  prudent  Capito,  with  a  view  to 
bring  this  difficult  affair  to  a  good  termination. 

We  cannot  say  what  were  the  feelings  of  the  young  and  feeble 
archbishop  on  receiving  the  Reformer's  letter.  The  tract  announced 
against  the  idol  of  Halle  was  like  a  sword  suspended  over  his  head. 
At  the  same  time,  what  rage  must  have  been  kindled  in  his  heart 
by  the  insolence  of  this  peasant's  son,  this  excommunicated  monk, 
who  dared  to  hold  such  language  to  a  prince  of  the  house  of  Bran 
denburg,  the  primate  of  the  German  Church  ?  Capito  implored 
the  archbishop  to  satisfy  the  monk.  Terror,  pride, conscience  whose 
voice  he  could  not  stifle,  produced  a  fearful  struggle  in  Albert's 
soul.  At  length,  dread  of  the  tract,  and  it  may  be  also  remorse,  car 
ried  the  day.  He  humbled  himself  and  gathered  together  whatever 
he  thought  fitted  to  appease  the  man  of  the  Wartburg ;  scarcely 
had  the  fortnight  elapsed,  when  Luther  received  the  following  letter, 
which  is  still  more  astonishing  than  his  formidable  epistle. 

•  My  dear  Doctor, — I  have  received  and  read  your  letter,  and 
taken  it  in  good  part.  But  I  believe  that  for  a  long  time  the  mo 
tive  which  led  you  to  write  me  such  a  letter  has  not  existed.  I 
wish,  with  God's  help,  to  conduct  myself  as  a  pious  bishop  and  a 
Christian  prince,  and  I  acknowledge  that  I  stand  in  need  of  the 
grace  of  God.  I  deny  not  that  I  am  a  sinful  man,  one  who  may 
sin  and  be  mistaken,  one  even  who  sins  and  is  mistaken  every  day. 
I  know  well  that  without  the  grace  of  God  I  am  useless  and  fil 
thy  mire  like  other  men,  if  not  more  so.  In  reply  to  your  letter, 
I  did  not  Avish  to  conceal  from  you  this  gracious  disposition  ;  for, 
from  the  love  of  Christ,  I  am  more  than  desirous  to  show  you  all 
sorts  of  kindness  and  favour.  I  know  how  to  receive  a  Christian 
and  fraternal  reprimand. 

"  With  my  own  hand,  ALBERT." 

Such  was  the  language  held  to  the  excommunicated  of  the  Wart- 
burg  by  the  Elector  Archbishop  of  Mentz  and  Magdeburg,  whose 
office  it  was  to  represent  -and  maintain  in  Germany  the  constitu- 


tion  of  the  Church.  Had  Albert,  in  writing  it,  obeyed  the  generous 
inspirations  of  his  conscience,  or  his  servile  fears  ?  In  the  former 
view,  this  letter  is  noble ;  in  the  latter,  it  deserves  contempt.  We 
prefer  supposing  that  it  proceeded  from  a  good  emotion  in  his  heart. 
Be  this  as  it  may,  it  shows  the  immense  superiority  of  the  servant 
of  God  over  earthly  grandeur.  While  Luther,  single,  captive,  and 
condemned,  found  indomitable  courage  in  his  faith,  the  archbishop 
cardinal  elector,  surrounded  by  all  the  power  and .  favour  of  the 
world,  trembled  in  his  chair.  This  contrast  is  constantly  display 
ed,  and  it  furnishes  a  key  to  the  strange  enigma  with  which  we 
are  presented  in  the  history  of  the  Reformation.  The  Christian  is 
not  called  to  sum  up  his  forces  and  make  an  enumeration  of  his 
means  of  victory.  The  only  thing  which  ought  to  give  him  any  con 
cern  is,  whether  the  cause  which  he  maintains  is  indeed  that  of 
God,  and  whether  his  sole  aim  is  the  glory  of  his  Master.  He  has 
doubtless  an  examination  to  make,  but  it  is  wholly  spiritual ;  the 
Christian  looks  to  the  heart  and  not  to  the  arm  ;  to  the  justice  of 
the  cause  and  not  to  its  strength.  And  when  once  this  question  is 
decided,  his  path  is  marked  out.  He  must  advance  boldly,  even 
should  it  be  against  the  world  and  all  its  hosts,  in  the  unwavering 
conviction  that  God  himself  will  fight  for  him. 

The  enemies  of  the  Reformation  thus  passed  from  extreme  rig 
our  to  extreme  feebleness.  They  had  already  done  so  at  Worms, 
and  these  abrupt  transitions  are  ever  appearing  in  the  war  which 
error  makes  upon  truth.  Every  cause  destined  to  give  way  is 
affected  with  an  inward  dissatisfaction,  which  makes  it  vacillating 
and  dubious,  and  pushes  it  by  turns  from  one  extreme  to  the  other. 
Far  better  were  consistency  and  energy.  It  might  be,  that  thereby 
the  fall  would  be  precipitated,  but  at  all  events  when  it  did  come, 
it  would  come  gloriously. 

The  Elector  of  Brandenburg,  Joachim  I,  a  brother  of  Albert, 
gave  an  example  of  this  decision  of  character  which  is  so  rare,  es 
pecially  in  our  own  age.  Immovable  in  his  principles,  firm  in  his 
actions,  knowing  when  necessary  to  resist  the  will  of  the  pope,  he 
opposed  an  iron  hand  to  the  progress  of  the  Reformation.  At 
Worms,  he  had  insisted  that  Luther  should  not  be  heard,  and  even 
that  he  should  be  punished  as  a  heretic,  notwithstanding  of  his 
safe  conduct.  No  sooner  was  the  edict  of  Worms  issued  than  he 
ordered  it  to  be  rigorously  executed  in  all  his  states.  Luther  was 
able  to  estimate  a  character  thus  energetic,  and  distinguishing 
Joachim  from  his  other  opponents,  said,  "  We  can  still  pray  for 
the  Elector  of  Brandenburg."1  The  spirit  of  the  prince  seemed  to 
have  been  communicated  to  his  subjects.  Berlin  and  Brandenburg 

1  Ilelwing,  Gescli.  dor  Brandeb.  ii,  p.  605. 


long  remained  completely  closed  against  the  Reformation.  But 
what  was  received  slowly  was  kept  faithfully,  while  countries  which 
then  received  the  gospel  with  joy,  Belgium,,  for  instance,  and  West 
phalia,  were  soon  to  abandon  it.  Brandenburg,  the  last  of  the 
German  states  to  enter  on  the  paths  of  faith,  was,  at  a  latter  period, 
to  take  its  place  in  the  foremost  ranks  of  the  Reformation.1 

Luther  did  not  receive  the  letter  of  the  cardinal  archbishop  with 
out  some  suspicion  of  its  having  been  dictated  by  hypocrisy,  or  in 
compliance  with  the  counsels  of  Capito.  He  was  silent,  however, 
contenting  himself  with  a  declaration  to  the  latter,  that  so  long  as 
the  archbishop,  who  was  scarcely  capable  of  managing  a  small 
parish,  would  not  lay  aside  the  mask  of  the  cardinalate  and  pomp 
of  the  episcopate,  and  become  a  simple  minister  of  the  word,  it 
was  impossible  he  coidd  be  in  the  way  of  salvation.2 

CHAP.  V, 

Translation  of  the  Bible— Wants  <  f  the  Church— Principles  of  the  Keformatio:;—. 
Alarm  at  Court — Luther  to  the  Archbishop— Temptations  of  the  Devil — Condemna 
tion  of  the  Sorbonne — Melanctli •••:>'s  Reply — Visit  to  Wittemberg, 

While  Luther  was  thus  combating  error  as  if  he  had  still  beeu 
upon  the  field  of  battle,  he  was  at  work  in  his  retreat  as  if  he  were 
a  stranger  to  every  thing  that  was  taking  place  in  the  world. 
The  moment  had  arrived  when  the  Reformation  was  to  pass  from 
the  speculations  of  theologians  into  common  life,  and  yet  the  great 
instrument  by  which  this  transaction  was  to  be  effected  was  not 
yet  in  existence.  This  wondrous  and  mighty  engine,  destined 
to  assail  the  edifice  of  Rome  from  all  quarters,  with  bolts  which 
would  demolish  its  walls,  to  lift  off  the  enormous  weight  under 
which  the  papacy  held  down  the  half-suffocated  Church,  and' 
give  to  humanity  itself  an  impulse  which  it  should  retain  to  the 
latest  ages,  was  to  come  forth  from  the  old  castle  of  the  Wartburg 
and  enter  the  world  with  the  Reformer  the  very  day  when  his  cap 
tivity  should  terminate. 

The  further  the  Church  was  removed  from  the  period  when  Jesus 
Christ,  the  true  light  of  the  world,  dwelt  in  it,  the  more  need  she 
had  of  the  lamp  of  the  Word  of  God,,  which  was  to  transmit  the 
brightness  of  Jesus  Christ  unimpaired  to  the  latest  ages.  But  this 

1  Hoc  enim  propriurn  est  illorum  hominum  (ex  March.  Brandeburg)  ut  quam  se»- 
mei  in  religioiie  sententiam  approbaverint,  non  facile  deserant.  (Leutingeri,  Op.  i,  41 .) 
This  is  a  characteristic  of  those  men  (the  Dukes  of  Brandenburg),  that  when  once 
they  have  formed  an  opinion  in  religion,  they  do  not  easily  abandon  it.  3  Larvam 

cavdiualatus  et  pompana  epiBcopalem  able^are.    (L.  Ep.  "i,  p,  la^.j 


divine  Word  was  then  unknown  to  the  people.  Attempts  at  trans 
lation,  from  the  vulgate  in  1477,  1490,  and  1518,  had  succeeded  ill, 
were  almost  unintelligible,  and,  from  their  high  price,  beyond 
the  reach  of  the  people.  It  had  even  been  prohibited  to  give 
the  Bible  to  the  Germanic  Church  in  the  vulgar  tongue.1  Besides, 
the  number  of  those  able  to  read  was  inconsiderable,  so  long  as 
there  was  no  work  in  the  German  tongue  of  deep  and  universal 

Luther  was  called  to  give  the  Scriptures  to  his  country,  Italy. 
The  same  God  who  withdrew  St.  John  to  Patmos  there  to  write 
his  Revelation,  had  shut  up  Luther  in  the  Wartburg  to  translate 
his  Word.  This  great  work,  which  it  would  have  been  difficult 
for  him  to  undertake  amid  the  distractions  and  occupations  of  Wit- 
temberg,  was  destined  to  establish  the  new  edifice  on  the  primitive 
rock,  and  bring  back  Christians,  after  so  many  ages  of  schol 
astic  subtleties  to  the  pure  and  primary  source  of  redemption  and 

The  wants  of  the  Church  pleaded  strongly  ;  they  demanded  this 
great  work,  and  Luther  was  to  be  trained  by  his  own  deep  ex 
perience  for  the  performance  of  it.  In  fact,  he  had  found  in  faith 
that  spiritual  repose  which  his  agitated  conscience  and  monastic 
ideas  had  long  made  him  seek  in  his  own  merit  and  holiness.  The 
doctrine  of  the  Church,  viz.  scholastic  theology,  knew  nothing  of  the 
consolations  which  faith  gives,  but  these  wero  forcibly  announced  in 
Scripture,  and  there  he  found  them.  Faith  in  the  Word  of  God  had 
made  him  free.  By  means  of  it,  he  felt  himself  emancipated  from  the 
dogmatical  authority  of  the  Church,  its  hierarchy,  its  traditions,  schol 
astic  opinions,  powerful  prejudices,  and  all  tyranny  of  man.  The 
numerous  and  powerful  links  which  had  for  ages  chained  and  bound 
Christendom,  were  broken,  destroyed,  and  scattered  in  fragments 
around  him,  and  he  nobly  raised  his  head,  free  of  every  thing  save  the 
Word.  This  independence  of  men,  this  submission  to  God,  which 
he  had  learned  in  the  Holy  Scriptures,  he  wished  the  Church  to 
possess.  But  in  order  to  accomplish  this,  it  was  necessary  to 
give  her  back  the  revelation  of  God.  It  was  necessary  that  a 
mighty  hand  should  throw  back  the  ponderous  gates  of  that  ar 
senal  of  the  Word  of  God,  in  which  Luther  himself  had  found 
his  armour,  and  that  those  vaults  and  ancient  halls  which  no  foot 
had  traversed  for  ages,  should  be  again  opened  wide  to  the  Chris 
tian  people  for  the  day  of  battle. 

Luther  had  already  translated  different  portions  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures  :  the  seven  penitential  Psalms  had  been  his  first  labour.2 

1  Codex  Diplom.  E'jclesise  Magunt,  iv,  p.  460.  2  Ps.  vi,  xxxii,  xxxviii,  li,  cii, 

CX.^y,  cxlvii. 



,1.0*11!?  Christ,  John  Baptist,  and  the  Reformation,  alike  began  with 
the  doctrine  of  repentance,  which  is  the  first  beginning  of  renovation 
in  the  individual  and  in  the  race.  These  essays  had  been  received 
with  avidity :  all  wished  for  more,  and  this  call  from  the  people 
was  to  Luther  a  call  from  God  himself.  He  formed  the  design 
of  responding  to  it.  He  was  a  captive  behind  high  walls.  True  ! 
He  will  employ  his  leisure  in  transferring  the  Word  of  God  into 
the  language  of  his  people.  This  Word  will  shortly  descend  with 
him  from  the  Wartburg ;  it  will  circulate  among  the  population 
of  Germany,  and  put  them  in  possession  of  spiritual  treasures — 
treasures  like  them,  shut  up  within  the  hearts  of  a  few  pious  men. 
"  Let  this  singlebook,"  exclaims  he,  ube  in  all  tongues,  in  all  hands, 
before  all  eyes,  in  all  ears,  and  in  all  hearts."  1  Admirable  words  ! 
which  a  distinguished  society  2  for  translating  the  Bible  into  the 
languages  of  all  nations  is  now,  after  three  centuries,  engaged  in 
carrying  into  effect.  "  The  Scripture,  without  any  commentary," 
says  he  on  another  occasion,  "  is  the  sun  from  which  all  teachers 
receive  light." 

Such  are  the  principles  of  Christianity  and  of  the  Reformation. 
According  to  those  venerable  words,  we  are  not  to  take  the  Fathers 
in  order  to  throw  light  on  Scripture,  but  Scripture  to  throw  light 
on  the  Fathers.  The  Reformers  and  the  Apostles  held  up  the 
Word  of  God  alone  for  light,  just  as  they  hold  up  the  sacrifice  of 
C  hrist  alone  for  righteousness.  To  attempt  to  mix  up  human  authori 
ty  with  this  absolute  authority  of  God,  or  human  righteousness  with 
this  perfect  righteousness  of  Christ,  is  to  corrupt  Christianity  in  its 
two  foundations.  Such  are  the  tAvo  fundamental  heresies  of 
Rome,  heresies  moreover  which  some  teachers  would  fain  intro 
duce,  though,  doubtless,  in  a  modified  form,  into  the  bosom  of  the 

Luther  opened  the  Greek  text  of  the  Evangelists  and  Apostles, 
and  undertook  the  difficult  task  of  making  these  inspired  teachers 
speak  his  mother  tongue — an  important  epoch  in  the  history  of 
the  Reformation  which  was  thenceforth  no  longer  in  the  hand  of 
the  Reformer.  The  Bible  came  forward .;  Luther  drew  back :  God 
showed  himself,  and  man  disappeared.  The  Reformer  has  placed 
THE  BOOK  in  the  hands  of  his  contemporaries.  Everyone  can  now 
listen  to  God  himself.  As  for  Luther,  he  from  this  time  mingles  in 
the  crowd,  and  takes  his  place  among  those  who  come  to  draw  at 
the  common  fountain  of  light  and  life. 

In  the  translation  of  the  Holy  Scriptures  Luther  found  in  abun 
dance  that  consolation  and  strength  which  were  most  necessary  to 

1  Efr,  solus  Me  liber  omnium  lingua,  rnanu,  oculis,  auribus,  eordibus,  vcrsaretur. 
',L.  Kp.  ii,  p.  ilC.)  2  The  Bible  Society. 


him.  Sick,  isolated,  saddened  by  the  efforts  of  his  enemies  and 
the  errors  of  some  of  his  partisans,  seeing  his  life  wasting  away 
in  the  gloom  of  this  old  castle,  he  had  many  fearful  combats  to 
maintain.  In  those  times  there  was  an  inclination  to  transfer  to 
the  visible  world  the  struggles  which  the  soul  maintains  with  its 
spiritual  foes.  The  lively  imagination  of  Luther  easily  gave  a 
bodily  shape  to  the  emotions  of  his  heart,  while  the  superstition  of 
the  middle  ages  had  still  some  hold  upon  his  intellect,  so  that  in 
this  respect  it  may  be  said  of  him  as  has  been  said  of  Calvin  in 
the  punishment  of  heretics — he  had  a  remnant  of  popery.1  In 
Luther's  idea  Satan  was  not  merely  an  invisible  though  real  being :  he 
thought  that  this  enemy  of  God  appeared  to  man  as  he  had  appeared 
to  Jesus  Christ.  Although  the  authenticity  of  several  of  the  ac 
counts  given  on  this  subject  in  the  '  Table  Talk,'  and  elsewhere, 
is  more  than  doubtful,  the  historian  is  bound  to  point  out  this  foible 
in  the  reformer.  Never  did  these  dark  ideas  assail  him  more  than 
in  the  solitude  of  the  Wartburg.  He  had  defied  the  devil  at 
Worms  in  the  days  of  his  strength  ;  but  now  all  the  power  of  the 
Keformer  seemed  broken  and  his  glory  tarnished.  He  was  thrown 
aside.  Satan  was  victorious  in  his  turn,  and  Luther,  in  the 
anguish  of  his  spirit  thought  he  saw  him  raising  his  gigantic  figure 
before  him.  pointing  his  threatening  finger,  triumphing  with  bitter 
and  infernal  leer,  and  gnashing  his  teeth  in  frightful  rage.  One  day 
among  others  it  is  said,  when  Luther  was  working  at  his  translation  of 
the  New  Testament,  he  thought  he  saw  Satan,  who,  dreadfully  terri 
fied  at  this  work,  kept  teazing  him,  and  turning  round  and  round 
him  like  a  lion  about  to  pounce  upon  his  prey.  Luther,  frightened 
and  irritated,  seized  his  inkstand  and  threw  it  at  the  head  of  his 
enemy.  The  figure  vanished  and  the  inkstand  struck  against  the 

Luther's  residence  in  the  Wartburg  began  to  be  insupportable. 
He  felt  indignant  at  the  pusillanimity  of  his  protectors.  Some 
times  he  remained  a  whole  day  absorbed  in  silent  and  profound 
meditation,  and  came  out  of  it  only  to  exclaim,  "  Oh  that  I  were 
at  Wittemberg!  "  At  length  he  could  hold  out  no  longer  :  there 
has  been  enough  of  political  management :  he  must  see  his  friends 
again, — hear  them  and  speak  to  them.  True !  he  runs  the  risk  of 
falling  into  the  hands  of  his  enemies,  but  nothing  can  stop  him.  To 
wards  the  end  of  November  he  secretly  quits  the  Wartburg  and 
sets  out  for  Wittemberg.3 

A  new  storm  had  just  burst  upon  him.      The  Sorbonne  had  at 

1  M.  Michelet,  in  his  Memoires  de  Luther,  devotes  more  than  thirty  pages  to  differ 
ent  accounts  of  the  apparition  of  the  devil.  2  The  keeper  of  the  Wartburg 
is  still  careful  to  show  the  traveller  the  mark  made  by  Luther's  inkstand. 

3  Machete  er  sich  heimlich  aus  seiner  Patmo  auf.    (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  238.) 


length  broken  silence.  This  celebrated  school  of  Paris,  the  first 
authority  in  the  Church  after  the  pope,  the  ancient  and  venerable 
fountain,  whence  theological  dogmas  had  sprung,  had  just  issued 
its  verdict  against  the  Reformation. 

The  following  are  some  of  the  propositions  which  it  condemned  : 
Luther  had  said,  "  God  always  pardons  and  remits  sins  gratui 
tously,  and  asks  nothing  of  us  in  return  but  only  to  live  in  future 
according  to  his  will."  He  had  added,  ' '  Of  all  mortal  sins  the 
most  mortal  is  this, — for  any  one  to  believe  that  he  is  not  guilty 
before  God  of  mortal  and  damnable  sin."  He  had  further  said, 
"To  burn  heretics  is  contrary  to  the  will  of  the  Holy  Spirit." 

To  all  these  propositions,  and  many  others  which  were  quoted, 
the  faculty  of  theology  replied,  "  Heresy,  anathema ! "  l 

But  a  young  man  of  twenty-four,  of  small  stature,  modest,  and 
unostentatious,  dared  to  take  up  the  gauntlet  which  had  been 
thrown  down  by  the  first  school  in  the  world.  It  was  well  known 
at  Wittemberg  what  view  ought  to  be  taken  of  these  pompous 
condemnations  :  it  was  known  that  Rome  had  yielded  to  the  sug 
gestion  of  the  Dominicans,  and  that  the  Sorbonne  was  dragged 
along  by  two  or  three  fanatical  doctors,  who  were  designated  at 
Paris  by  derisive  nicknames.2  Accordingly,  Melancthon,  in  his 
apology,  did  not  confine  himself  to  the  defence  of  Luther,  but  with 
the  boldness  which  characterises  his  writings,  carried  the  assault 
into  the  camp  of  his  adversaries.  "  You  say  he  is  a  manichean, 
a  montanist !  let  lire  and  flame  repress  his  folly  !  Which,  pray,  is 
inontanist  ?  Luther  who  wishes  men  to  believe  in  the  Holy  Scrip 
tures,  or  yourselves  who  will  have  them  to  believe  the  views  of 
men  rather  than  the  Word  of  God."  3 

To  attribute  more  to  man's  word  than  to  the  Word  of  God  was 
in  fact  the  heresy  of  Montanus,  as  it  is  still  that  of  the  pope,  and 
of  all  those  who  set  the  hierarchical  authority  of  the  Church,  or 
the  internal  inspiration  of  mystieism  above  the  positive  declaration 
of  the  Sacred  Writings.  Accordingly,  the  young  master  of  arts  who 
had  said,  "  I  will  lose  my  life  sooner  than  my  faith,"  4  did  not  stop 
there  He  accused  the  Sorbonne  of  having  obscured  the  gospel, 
extinguished  faith,  and  substituted  a  vain  philosophy  for  Chris 
tianity.5  After  the  work  of  Melancthon  the  position  of  the  question 

1  Determinatio  theologorum  Parisiensium  super  doctrina  Lutherana.  (Corp.  Ref. 
i,  p.  36fi— ov  .)  2  Damnarunt  triumviri  Beda,  Quercus,  et  Christophorus. 

Nominasunt  horum  monstrorum  etiam  vulgo  mine  nota  Belua,  Stercus,  Christoto- 
mus.  (Z wing,  E p.  i,  p.  176.)  He  was  condemned  by  the  triumvirs  Beda,Quercus,  and 
Christophorus.  These  are  the  names  of  three  monsters  now  commonly  known  as 
Bellua  (beast)  Stercus  (dang)  and  Christotomus  (Christ-slayer.)  3  Corp.  Ref. 

i,  p.  39G.)  *  Scias  me  positurum  animam  citius  quam  fidem.  (Ibid.) 

5  Ev:mgelium  abscuracum  est,  fides  extincta  ...  Ex  Christianismo,  contra  omnem 
fcinsum  Spiritus,  facta  est  qusBdam  philosophiea  vivendi  ratio.  (Corp.  Ref.  i.  p,  400.) 


was  changed  ;  he  proved  to  demonstration  that  heresy  was  at  Paris 
and  Rome,  and  catholic  truth  at  Wittemberg. 

Meanwhile,  Luther  giving  himself  little  concern  with  the  con 
demnation  of  the  Sorbonne,  repaired  in  his  knight's  dress  to  the 
university  seat.  On  the  way  different  reports  reached  him,  that  a 
spirit  of  impatience  and  independence  was  manifesting  itself  among 
his  adherents,  and  he  was  grieved  to  the  heart.1  At  length  he  ar 
rived  at  Wittemberg  without  having  been  recognised,  and  stopped 
at  the  house  of  Amsdorff.  Forthwith  all  his  friends  were  secretly 
summoned,2  Melancthon  especially,  who  had  often  said,  "  If  I  must 
be  deprived  of  him  I  prefer  death.3  On  their  arrival,  what  a  meet 
ing  !  what  joy !  The  captive  of  the  Wartburg  seated  amidst 
them  enjoys  all  the  sweets  of  Christian  friendship.  He  learns  the 
progress  of  the  Reformation,  and  the  hopes  of  his  brethren;  and, 
overjoyed  at  what  he  sees  and  hears,4  prays,  gives  thanks,  and 
then,  after  a  short  delay,  returns  to  the  Wartburg. 

CHAP    VI. 

'  New  Reforms—Gabriel  Zwilling  on  the  Mass— The  University— The  Elector— Mon  - 
achism  attacked — Emancipation  of  the  Monks — Disturbances — Chapter  of  the 
Augustins — The  Mass  and  Carlstadt — First  Supper — Importance  of  the  Mass  in 
the  Roman  System. 

Luther's  joy  was  well  founded — the  Reformation  was  then  ad 
vancing  at  an  immense  pace.  Feldkirchen,  always  in  the  advanced 
guard,  had  first  mounted  to  the  assault :  the  main  body  was  now 
shaken,  and  the  power  which  carried  the  Reformation  from  doc 
trine  which  it  had  purified,  into  worship,  common  life,  and  the 
constitution  of  the  Church  now  manifested  itself  by  a  new  explo 
sion  still  more  formidable  to  the  papacy  than  the  former  had  been. 

Rome,  disencumbered  of  the  Reformer,  thought  she  had  done 
with  heresy.  But  in  a  short  time  all  was  changed.  Death 
precipitated  the  man  who  had  laid  Luther  under  interdict  from 
the  pontifical  throne.  Disturbances  arising  in  Spain,  obliged 
Charles  V  to  repair  beyond  the  Pyrenees.  War  broke  out  be 
tween  this  prince  and  Francis  I,  and,  as  if  this  had  not  been 

Instead  of  Christianity  there  was  adopted  allegiance  contrary  to  the  meaning  of  th« 
Spirit,  a  certain  philosophical  mode  ol  life.  1  Per  viam  vexatus  rumore 

varisdenostrorum  quoruudam  irnportunitate.     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  109.)     He  was  grieved  by 
the  way,  "by  various  rumours  as  to  the  rashness  of  some  of  our  people. 

2  Liess  in  der  Stille  seine  Freunde  fodern.    (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  238.  3  Quo  si 

mini  carendum  est,  mortem  furtius  tulero.     (Corp.  Ref.  i.  p.  453 — 455.)     I  could  bear 
death  more  easily  than  want  him.  *  Omnia  vehementer  placent  quae  video 

et  audio.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  109.)  All  that  I  see  and  hear  pleases  me  exceedingly. 


enough  to  occupy  the  Emperor,  Solyman  advanced  into  Hungary. 
Charles,  attacked  on  all  sides,  saw  himself  constrained  to  forget  the 
monk  at  Worms,  and  his  religious  innovations. 

About  the  same  time  the  vessel  of  the  Reformation  which, 
driven  in  all  directions  by  contrary  winds,  had  well  nigh  foundered, 
righted  and  floated  firmly  on  the  waves. 

It  was  in  the  Augustin  Convent  of  Wittemberg  that  the  Refor 
mation  broke  out.  We  must  not  be  surprised  at  this :  the  Re 
former  was  no  longer  there,  but  no  power  could  banish  the  spirit 
which  had  animated  him. 

For  some  time  the  church  in  which  Luther  so  often  preached 
had  resounded  with  strange  doctrines.  Gabriel  Zwilling,  the 
preacher  of  the  convent,  a  monk  full  of  zeal,  preacheJ.  with  ardour 
in  favour  of  the  Reformation.  As  if  Luther,  whose  name  was  every 
where  proclaimed,  had  become  too  powerful  and  too  illustrious,  God 
selected  feeble  and  obscure  individuals  to  commence  the  Reforma 
tion  which  Luther  had  prepared.  "  Jesus  Christ,"  said  the 
preacher,  "  instituted  the  sacrament  of  the  altar  as  a  memorial  of 
Vis  death,  not  to  make  it  an  object  of  adoration.  To  adore  it  is 
teal  idolatry.  The  priest  who  communicates  alone  commits  a  sin. 
No  prior  is  entitled  to  compel  a  monk  to  say  mass  alone.  Let 
one,  two,  or  three  officiate  and  let  all  the  others  receive  the  sacra 
ment  in  both  kinds."  1 

Such  was  the  demand  of  friar  Gabriel,  and  these  bold  words  were 
listened  to  with  approbation  by  the  other  friars,  especially  by  those 
who  came  from  the  Low  Countries.2  Being  disciples  of  the  gospel 
why  should  they  not  in  everything  conform  themselves  to  its  com 
mands?  Had  not  Luther  himself,  in  the  month  of  August, 
written  to  Melancthon,  "  Never  more  from  this  time  will  I  say  a 
private  mass."  3  Thus  the  monks,  those  soldiers  of  the  hierarchy, 
set  free  by  the  Word  of  God,  boldly  took  part  against  Rome. 

At  Wittemberg  they  experienced  an  obstinate  resistance  on  the 
part  of  the  prior.  Recollecting  that  all  things  ought  to  be  done  in 
order,  they  yielded,  still  declaring  that  to  maintain  the  mass  was 
to  oppose  the  Gospel  of  God. 

The  prior  had  carried  the  day :  one  had  proved  stronger  than 
all.  It  might  therefore  be  supposed  that  the  movement  of  the 
Augustins  had  only  been  one  of  those  freaks  of  insubordination  of 
which  convents  were  so  often  the  theatre.  But  it  was  in  reality 
the  Spirit  of  God  that  was  then  agitating  Christendom.  An  isolated 

i  Einem  2oder  3  befehlenMess  zu  halten,  und  die  andern  12  von  denen,  das  Sacra 
ment  sub  utraqae  specie  mit  empt'dhen.  (Corp.  Ret.  i,  p.  460.)  2  Deimeiste 
Thtil  jener  Parthaei  Niedurlamcler  seyn.  (Ibid.  476.)  3  Sed  et  ego  amplius 
lion  faciam  missam  privatim  in  isternurn.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  36.) 


cry  sent  forth  from  the  recess  of  a  monastery  found  a  thousand 
echoing  voices,  and  that  which  it  was  wished  to  keep  confined 
within  the  walls  of  a  convent,  came  forth  and  assumed  a  distinct 
shape  in  the  very  heart  of  the  city. 

A  rumour  of  the  dissensions  of  the  monks  was  soon  noised  in 
the  town.  The  citizens  and  students  of  the  University  took  part 
either  for  or  against  the  mass.  The  electoral  court  was  alarmed. 
Frederick,  in  astonishment,  sent  his  chancellor  Pontanus  to  Wit- 
temberg,  with  orders,  to  tame  the  monks,  by  putting  them,  if  ne 
cessary,  on  bread  and  water;1  and  on  the  12th  October,  at  seven 
in  the  morning,  a  deputation  of  professors,  of  whom  Melancthon 
was  one,  repaired  to  the  convent  to  exhort  the  monks  not  to  make 
any  innovation,2  or  at  least  to  wait.  On  this  all  their  zeal  revived : 
unanimous  in  their  belief,  with  the  exception  of  the  prior  who 
combated  them,  they  appealed  to  the  Holy  Scriptures,  to  the  in 
telligence  of  the  faithful,  and  the  consciences  cf  theologians,  and 
two  days  after  returned  a  written  declaration. 

The  teachers  now  examined  the  question  more  closely,  and  per 
ceived  that  truth  was  on  the  side  of  the  monks.  They  went  to 
convince,  but  were  themselves  convinced.  What  were  they  to 
do  ?  Their  conscience  spake  aloud  ;  their  distress  continually  in 
creased:  at  last,  after  long  hesitation,  they  adopted  a  bold  reso 

On  the  20th  October,  the  University  gave  in  their  report  to  the 
Elector.  "  Let  your  Electoral  Highness,"  said  they  to  him,  after 
exposing  the  errors  of  the  mass,  "  Let  your  Electoral  Highness  abo 
lish  all  abuses,  lest  Christ,  on  the  day  of  judgment,  upbraid  us  as 
he  once  did  Capernaum." 

It  is  no  longer  some  obscure  monks  who  speak,  but  that  Univer 
sity  which  all  sober  men  have  hailed  for  years  as  the  national 
school.  The  very  means  employed  to  stifle  the  Keformation  are 
going  to  contribute  to  its  extension. 

Melancthon,  with  the  boldness  which  he  showed  in  speculation, 
published  fifty-five  propositions  with  a  view  to  enlighten  the  public 
mind : 

"  Just,"  says  he,  "  as  to  look  at  a  crucifix  is  not  to  do  a  good 
work,  but  simply  to  contemplate  a  sign  which  reminds  us  of  the 
death  of  Christ. 

"As  to  look  at  the  sun  is  not  to  do  a  good  work,  but  simply  to 
contemplate  a  sign  which  reminds  us  of  Christ  and  his  gospel. 

4 '  So  to  partake  of  the  table  of  the  Lord  is  not  to  do  a  good 

1  Wollen  die  Mbncbe  nicht  Mess  halten.  sie  werden's  bald  in  der  Kitchen  und 

Keller  empfinden (Corp.  Ref.  i,p.  461.)  3  Hit  denj  Mess  halten  keiu 

Meaerung  machen.    (Ibid.) 


work,  but  simply  to  make  use  of  a  sign  which  reminds  of  the  grace 
given  us  by  Christ. 

"  But  herein  is  the  difference.  The  symbols  invented  by  men 
simply  recall  what  they  signify,  whereas  the  signs  given  by  God 
not  only  recall  the  things,  but  also  make  the  heart  sure  of  the  will 
of  God. 

"  As  the  sight  of  a  cross  does  not  justify,  so  the  mass  does  not 

"  As  the  sight  of  a  cross  is  not  a  sacrifice  for  our  own  sins  or  for 
those  of  others,  so  the  mass  is  not  a  sacrifice. 

"  There  is  only  one  sacrifice,  only  one  satisfaction — Jesus  Christ. 
Out  of  him  there  is  none. 

"Let  the  bishops  who  do  not  oppose  the  impiety  of  the  mass  be 
anathema."  1 

Thus  spake  the  pious  and  gentle  Philip. 

The  Elector  was  in  consternation.  His  wish  had  been  to  repress 
some  young  monks,  and  lo !  all  the  University,  with  Melancthon 
himself,  rise  up  in  their  defence.  To  wait  appeared  to  him  to  be  in 
all  things  the  surest  means  of  success.  He  had  no  taste  for  sudden 
reforms,  and  wished  every  opinion  to  have  full  opportunity  of  show 
ing  itself.  "Time,"  thought  he,  "  throws  light  on  all  things,  and 
brings  them  to  maturity."  And  yet  the  Keformation  advances  in 
spite  of  him  with  rapid  steps,  and  threatens  to  carry  every  thing 
along  with  it.  Frederick  used  all  his  efforts  to  arrest  it.  His  au 
thority,  the  weight  of  his  character,  the  arguments  which  appeared 
to  him  most  decisive — every  thing  was  put  in  requisition.  He 
sent  a  message  to  the  theologians',  "  Dont  be  in  a  haste ;  you 
are  too  few  in  number  to  carry  out  such  a  reformation.  If  it  is 
founded  on  the  holy  Gospel,  others  will  perceive  it,  and  the  whole 
Church  will  concur  with  you  in  abolishing  these  abuses.  Speak, 
debate,  preach  as  much  on  these  subjects  as  you  please ;  but  pre 
serve  ancient  customs." 

Such  was  the  struggle  which  took  place  on  the  subject  of  the 
mass.  The  monks  had  gone  up  courageously  to  the  assault ;  the 
theologians,  for  a  moment  undecided,  had  soon  supported  them. 
The  prince  and  his  ministers  alone  defended  the  place.  It  has  been 
said  that  the  Reformation  was  effected  by  the  power  and  authority 
of  the  Elector ;  but  so  far  from  this,  the  assailants  were  obliged  to 
retire  at  the  venerated  voice  of  Frederick,  and  the  mass  was  saved 
for  some  days. 

Moreover,  the  hottest  of  the  assault  had  already  been  directed 
to  another  point.  Friar  Gabriel  continued  his  fervid  harangues  in 

1  Signa  ab  hominibus  reperta  admonent  tantum  :  signaa  Deotradita,prsBtcrquam 
quod  admonent,  certificant  etiam  cor  de  voluutate  Dei.    (Corp.  Rtf.  i,  p.  478.) 



the  church  of  the  Augustius.  It  was  against  monachism  itself 
that  he  now  directed  those  redoubled  WOAVS.  If  the  mass  consti 
tuted  the  strength  of  the  Romish  doctrine,  monachisin  constituted 
the  strength  of  the  hierarchy.  These,  therefore,  were  the  two  first 
positions  which  required  to  be  carried. 

"  Nobody,"  exclaimed  Gabriel,  according  to  the  prior's  account, 
"  nobody  m  convents  observes  the  commandments  of  God;  nobody 
can  be  saved  under  the  monk's  cowl;1  every  man  in  a  cloister 
must  have  entered  it  in  the  name  of  the  devil.  Vows  of  chastity, 
poverty,  and  obedience  are  contrary  to  the  Gospel." 

These  strange  addresses  were  reported  to  the  prior,  who  took 
good  care  to  keep  away  from  the  church,  that  he  might  not  hear 

"Gabriel,"  it  was  also  said,  "  wishes  every  means  to  be  taken  to 
empty  cloisters."  If  monks  are  met  in  the  street,  it  is  proper,  ac 
cording  to  him,  to  pull  them  by  the  frock,  and  point  the  finger  at 
them;  and  if  mockery  does  not  succeed  in  making  them  quit  the 
convent,  they  must  be  violently  hunted  out  of  it.  "Break  open, 
destroy,  throw  down  the  monasteries,"  said  he,  "  so  that  not  a 
vestige  of  them  may  remain,  and  on  the  site  which  they  have  so 
long  occupied  let  it  be  impossible  to  find  any  one  of  the  stones 
which  served  to  shelter  so  much  idleness  and  superstition."  2 

The  monks  were  astonished ;  their  conscience  told  them  that 
what  Gabriel  said  was  only  too  true — that  the  life  of  a  monk  was 
not  conformable  to  the  will  of  God,  and  that  none  was  enabled 
to  dispose  of  them  but  themselves. 

Thirteen  Augustins  left  the  convent  at  once,  and,  laying  aside 
the  dress  of  their  order,  assumed  common  clothes.  Those  of  them 
who  had  some  education  attended  the  lectures  in  the  University, 
that  they  might  one  day  become  useful  to  the  Church,  and  those 
whose  minds  were  little  cultivated  sought  to  gain  their  living  by 
working  with  their  own  hands,  according  to  the  injunction  of  the 
apostle  and  the  example  of  the  worthy  burghers  of  Wittemberg.8 
One  of  them,  who  was  acquainted  with  the  trade  of  carpenter,  en 
tered  with  the  corporation,  and  resolved  to  marry. 

If  Luther's  entrance  into  the  convent  of  the  Augustins  of  Er- 
furth  was  the  first  germ  of  the  Reformation,  the  departure  of  these 
thirteen  monks  from  the  convent  of  the  Augustins  of  Wittemberg 
was  a  sign  that  it  was  beginning  to  take  possession  of  Christendom. 
For  thirty  years  Erasmus  had  been  exposing  the  uselessness,  the 

1  Kein  Mbnch  werde  in  der  Kappe  selig.  Corp.  Ref.  i.  p.  4"".)  3  Dass  man 

nicht  oben  Stiick  von  einem  Kloster  da  sey  gestanden,  merken  mbge.  (Ibib.,p.  483.) 

s  "  Etliclie  unter  deu  Biirgern,  etliche  unter  den  Studenton,"  says  the  Prior  in  his 
complaint  to  the  Elector.  (Ibid.) 


follies,  and  vices  of  the  monks,  and  with  him  all  Europe  had  laughed 
or  felt  indignant.  But  it  was  no  longer  an  affair  of  sarcasm.  Thir 
teen  spirited  and  brave  men  again  appeared  in  the  midst  of  their 
fellow-men  to  render  themselves  useful  to  society,  and  fulfil  the 
orders  of  God.  The  marriage  of  Feldkirchen  had  been  the  first 
defeat  of  the  hierarchy — the  emancipation  of  these  thirteen 
Augustins  was  the  second.  Monachism,  which  had  been  formed 
the  moment  the  Church  commenced  her  period  of  bondage 
and  error,  behoved  to  fall  the  moment  she  recovered  liberty  and 

This  bold  proceeding  caused  a  general  fermentation  in  Wittemberg. 
Admiration  was  felt  for  the  men  who  came  to  share  in  the  common 
toils,  and  they  were  received  as  brethren.  At  the  same  time,  cries 
were  heard  against  those  who  persisted  in  remaining  idly  hid  be 
hind  the  walls  of  a. monastery.  The  monks  who  adhered  to  the 
prior  trembled  in  their  cells,  and  he,  carried  away  by  the  uni 
versal  movement,  discontinued  the  celebration  of  low  mass. 

The  smallest  concession  at  so  critical  a  moment  could  not  but 
hasten  the  progress  of  events.  This  order  by  the  prior  caused  a 
very  lively  sensation  in  the  town  and  the  University,  and  produced 
a  sudden  explosion.  Among  the  students  and  citizens  of  Wittem 
berg  were  some  turbulent  men,  whom  the  least  excitement  stirs 
up  and  hurries  into  culpable  disorders.  They  were  indignant 
at  the  idea  that  low  mass,  which  was  suspended  even  by  the  su 
perstitious  prior,  should  still  be  said  in  the  parish  church,  and  on 
Tuesday,  the  3rd  Dec.,  when  mass  was  about  to  be  chanted, 
they  made  a  sudden  rush  towards  the  altar,  carried  off  the  books, 
and  drove  away  the  priests.  The  Council  and  the  University  were 
indignant,  and  met  to  punish  the  authors  of  these  misdeeds.  But 
the  passions,  when  once  roused,  are  not  easily  calmed.  The  Cor 
deliers  had  not  taken  part  in  the  reform  movement  of  the  Augus 
tins.  The  next  day  some  students  put  up  a  threatening  placard  on 
the  door  of  their  monastery  :  thereafter  forty  students  entered  their 
church,  and,  without  proceeding  to  actual  violence,  mocked  the 
monks,  who,  in  consequence,  did  not  venture  to  say  mass  except 
in  the  choir.  Towards  evening,  the  fathers  received  intimation 
to  be  upon  their  guard.  "  The  students,"  it  was  said,  "  intended 
to  attack  the  monastery !  .  .  ."  The  monks  in  alarm,  not  know 
ing  how  to  defend  themselves  against  these  real  or  supposed  at 
tacks,  hastily  petitioned  the  Council  to  defend  them.  Some  soldiers 
were  sent,  but  the  enemy  did  not  appear.  The  University  caused 
the  students  who  had  taken  part  in  these  disturbances  to  be  ar 
rested.  They  were  discovered  to  be  students  from  Erfurth ,  already 


marked  for  iusubordination.1  University  penalties  were  inflicted 
on  them. 

Still  it  was  felt  necessary  carefully  to  examine  the  lawfulness  of 
monastic  vows.  A  chapter,  consisting  of  the  Augustins  of  Thu- 
lingia  and  Misnia,  met  at  Wittemberg  in  the  month  of  December. 
Their  views  coincided  with  Luther's.  They  declared  on  the  one 
hand  that  monastic  vows  were  not  sinful,  but,  on  the  other,  that 
they  were  not  obligatory.  "  In  Christ,"  said  they,  "there  is  neither 
laic  nor  monk :  every  one  is  free  to  quit  the  monastery  or  to 
remain  in  it.  Let  him  who  departs,  not  abuse  his  liberty — let  him 
who  remains,  obey  his  superiors  and  that  from  love."  Then  they 
abolished  mendicancy  and  masses  said  for  money :  they  also  decreed 
that  the  most  learned  among  them  should  apply  themselves  to  the 
teaching  of  the  Word  of  God,  and  that  the  others  should  support 
their  brethren  by  the  work  of  their  hands.2 

The  question  of  vows  thus  seemed  determined,  but  that  of  the  mass 
remained  undecided.  The  Elector  continued  to  oppose  the  torrent, 
and  protected  an  institution  which  was  still  standing  in  every  part 
of  Christendom.  The  orders  of  an  indulgent  prince  were  unable,  how 
ever,  long  to  restrain  men's  minds.  The  brain  of  Carlstadt  especi 
ally,  fermented  amid  the  general  fermentation.  Full  of  zeal,  honesty 
and  intrepidity,  and  ready,  like  Luther,  to  sacrifice  every  thing  for 
the  truth,  he  had  less  wisdom  and  moderation  than  the  Reformer. 
He  was  not  free  from  a  love  of  vain-glory,  and,  with  a  decided 
inclination  to  go  to  the  bottom  of  every  question,  he  had  little 
judgment  and  little  clearness  in  his  ideas.  Luther  had  drawn  him 
from  the  midst  of  the  schoolmen,  and  turned  him  towards  the 
study  of  Scripture,  but  Carlstadt  had  not  patience  to  study  the 
original  tongues,  and  had  not  perceived,  like  his  friend,  the  full 
sufficiency  of  the  Word  of  God.  Accordingly  he  was  often  seen 
to  fasten  on  the  most  singular  interpretations.  So  long  as  Luther 
was  at  his  side,  the  superiority  of  the  master  kept  the  scholar 
within  due  bounds.  But  Carlstadt  was  now  at  liberty,  and  this 
little  man,  of  sallow  tint,  who  had  never  been  conspicuous  for  elo 
quence,  was  heard  at  the  university  and  the  church,  especially  in 
Wittemberg,  giving  eager  expression  to  ideas  which,  though  some 
times  profound,  were  often  enthusiastic  and  extravagant.  "  What 
folly,"  exclaimed  he,  "to  think  that  the  Reformation  should  be 
left  to  the  agency  of  God  alone  !  A  new  order  of  things  begins. 
The  hand  of  man  must  interpose.  Wo  to  him  who  stays  behind, 
snd  will  not  mount  the  breach  in  the  cause  of  the  mighty  God  .  .  ." 

1  In  Surnma  es  sollen  die  Aufruhr  etliche  Studenten  von  Erffurth  erwerckt  haberi. 
(Corp.  lief,  i,  p.  490.)  2  Ibid.,  p.  456. — The  editors  date  this  decree  in  October 

totbre  the  friars  had  left  the  convent  of  Wittemberg;. 

3  d 

4i  CELEBRATION  OF  THE  LORD'S  SUPPER.          *  -f 

Tlie  words  of  the  archdeacon  communicated  to  others  the  im 
patience  which  animated  himself.  Following  his  example,  indi 
viduals  who  were  sincere  and  straightforward  exclaimed,  "All  that 
the  popes  have  ordained  is  impious.  Let  us  not  become  accomplices 
in  these  abominations  by  allowing  them  to  subsist.  What  is  con 
demned  by  the  word  of  God  must  be  abolished  in  Christendom, 
whatever  be  the  ordinances  of  men.  If  the  heads  of  the  State  and 
Church  Avill  not  do  their  duty,  let  us  do  ours.  Let  us  renounce 
negotiations,  conferences,  theses,  and  debates,  and  have  recourse  to 
the  true  remedy  for  all  these  evils.  There  must  be  a  second  Elijah 
to  destroy  the  altars  of  Baal." 

The  re-establishment  of  the  Last  Supper  at  this  moment  of  fer 
mentation  and  enthusiasm  doubtless  could  not  exhibit  the  solemnity 
and  sacredness  of  its  institution  by  the  Son  of  God  the  evening  be 
fore  his  death,  and  almost  at  the  foot  of  his  cross.  But  if  God  now 
made  use  of  feeble,  and  perhaps  passionate  men,  it  was  still  his 
hand  which  re-established  the  feast  of  his  love  in  the  bosom  of 
liis  Church. 

As  early  as  the  month  of  October,  Carlstadt,  with  twelve  of  his 
friends,  had  secretly  celebrated  the  Lord's  Supper,  agreeably  to 
its  original  institution.  The  Sunday  before  Christmas  he  intimated 
from  the  pulpit  that,  on  the  feast  of  the  Circumcision,  being  new 
New-year's-day,  he  would  dispense  the  Supper  under  the  two  kinds 
of  bread  and  wine  to  all  who  should  present  themselves  at  the  altar, 
that  he  would  omit  all  useless  ceremonies,1  and  in  celebrating  this 
mass  would  not  put  on  either  cope  or  chasuble. 

The  Council,  in  alarm,  requested  Counsellor  Beyer  to  prevent  so 
great  an  irregularity.  On  this  Carlstadt  resolved  not  to  wait  for 
the  time  he  had  appointed.  On  Christmas,  1521,  he  preaches  in 
the  parish  church,  on  the  necessity  of  abandoning  the  mass,  and 
receiving  the  sacrament  under  the  two  kinds.  After  sermon  he 
descends  to  the  altar,  pronounces  the  words  of  consecration  in 
German,  then  turning  to  the  people,  who  were  all  attention,  he 
says  in  a  solemn  tone,  "  Whosoever  feels  the  burden  of  his  sins, 
and  is  hungering  and  thirsting  for  divine  grace,  let  him  come  and 
receive  the  body  and  blood  of  the  Lord."2  Afterwards,  without 
raising  the  host,  he  distributes  the  bread  and  wine  to  all,  saying, 
"  This  is  the  cup  of  my  blood,  the  blood  of  the  new  and  everlasting 

Different  sentiments  pervaded  the  audience.  Some  feeling  that 
new  grace  from  God  was  given  to  the  church,  came  to  the  altar 

1  Und  die  anderen  ScMrymstepe  alle  aussen  JasKen.    (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  512.) 

2  Wer  init  Siinden  beschwert  und  nach  der  Gnade  Gottes  hungrig  und  durstlg 
(Ibid.,  p.  540.) 


under  deep  emotion  and  in  silence.  Others,  attracted  particularly 
by  the  novelty,  approached  with  agitation  and  a  certain  degree  of 
impatience.  Only  five  communicants  presented  themselves  at  the 
confessional.  The  others  simply  took  part  in  the  public  confession 
of  sins.  Carlstadt  gave  general  absolution  to  all,  enjoining  no 
other  penitence  than  this,  "  Sin  no  more."  At  the  close  they  sang 
the  hymn,  Lamb  of  God.1 

No  opposition  was  made  to  Carlstadt:  these  reforms  had  already 
obtained  the  public  consent.  The  archdeacon  dispensed  the  Supper 
again  on  New-year's-day ;  then,  on  the  following  Sunday,  and 
thereafter,  the  ordinance  was  regularly  observed.  Einsidlen,  one 
of  the  Elector's  counsellors,  having  upbraided  Carlstadt  with 
seeking  his  own  glory  rather  than  the  salvation  of  his  hearers, 
"  Mighty  Sir,"  replied  he,  "  there  is  no  death  that  can  make  me 

abandon  Scripture.  The  word  has  come  to  me  so  readily 

Wo  to  me  if  I  preach  not."  2  Carlstadt  married  soon  after. 

In  the  month  of  January  the  town  council  of  Wittemberg  and 
the  university  regulated  the  celebration  of  the  Supper  in  accord 
ance  with  the  new  form.  At  the  same  time  the  means  were  taken 
into  consideration  of  restoring  the  moral  influence  of  religion ;  for 
the  Reformation  behoved  to  re-establish  simultaneously  faith,  wor 
ship,  and  manners.  It  was  decreed  that  mendicants,  whether  lay 
or  not,  should  no  longer  be  tolerated,  and  that  in  each  street  a 
pious  man  should  be  charged  to  take  care  of  the  poor,  and  cite 
scandalous  offenders  before  the  university  or  the  council.3 

Thus  fell  the  mass,  the  principal  bulwark  of  Rome ;  thus  the 
Reformation  passed  from  doctrine  to  worship.  Three  ages  before, 
the  mass  and  transubstantiation  had  been  definitively  established,4 
and  thereafter  every  thing  in  the  Church  had  taken  a  new  direction — 
the  general  tendency  being  to  give  glory  to  man  and  reverence  to 
the  priest.  The  holy  sacrament  had  been  worshipped  ;  feasts  had 
been  instituted  in  honour  of  the  greatest  miracles  ;  the  adoration 
of  Mary  had  obtained  an  important  place ;  the  priest  who,  in  his 
consecration,  received  the  strange  power  of  "  making  the  body  of 
Christ,"  had  been  separated  from  the  laity,  and  had  become, 
according  to  Thomas  Aquinas,  a  mediator  between  God  and  man;5 
celibacy  had  been  proclaimed  as  an  inviolable  law ;  auricular  confes 
sion  had  been  imposed  on  the  people,  and  the  cup  taken  from  them : 
for  how  could  humble  laity  be  placed  on  the  same  level  with  priests 

1  Wenn  man  communicirt  hat,  so  singt  man  :  Agnus  Dei  carmen.  (Corp.  17 ef.  i,  p. 
540.)  SMiristdas  Wort  fast  in  grosser  Gesclntindigkeiteingefallen.  (lbid.p.545.) 

*  Kelnen  offenbaren  Sunder  zu  dulden  ....  (Ibid.,  p.  540.)  *  By  the  Lateran 

Council,  1215.  6  Sacerdos  constituitur  medius  inter  Deum  et  populum.  (Th. 

Aquin.  Summa,  iii,  22.)  The  priest  is  appointed  mediator  between  God  and  the 


entrusted  with  the  most  august  ministry?  The  mass  was  an  insult 
to  the  Son  of  God ;  it  was  opposed  to  the  perfect  grace  of  his  cross 
and  the  spotless  glory  of  his  eternal  kingdom.  But  if  it  degraded 
our  Lord,  it  exalted  the  priest  whom  it  invested  with  the  extraordin 
ary  power  of  reproducing  in  his  hands,  at  will,  his  sovereign  Creator. 
The  Church  appeared  henceforth  to  exist,  not  in  order  to  preach 
the  gospel,  but  simply  to  reproduce  Christ  corporeally  in  the  midst 
of  her.1  The  pontiff  of  Rome,  whose  most  humble  servants  at 
pleasure  created  the  body  of  God  himself,  sat  as  God  in  the  temple 
of  God,  and  ascribed  to  himself  a  spiritual  treasure  out  of  which  he 
drew  unlimited  indulgences  for  the  pardon  of  sins. 

Such  were  the  gross  errors  which,  together  with  the  mass,  had 
for  three  centuries  been  imposed  on  the  Church.  The  Reformation, 
in  abolishing  this  human  institution,  abolished  all  these  abuses. 
The  act  of  the  Archdeacon  of  Wittemberg  was  therefore  one  of  high 
consequence.  The  sumptuous  festivals  which  amused  the  people, 
the  worship  of  Mary,  the  pride  of  the  priesthood,  the  power  of  the 
pope,  all  tottered  with  the  mass.  Glory  was  withdrawn  from  the 
priests  and  restored  to  Jesus  Christ.  The  Reformation  thus  took 
an  immense  step  in  advance. 


Spurious  Reform—The  new  Prophets — The  Prophets  at  Wittemberg — Melanrthon 
— The  Elector — Luther,  Carlstadt,  and  Images — Disorders — Luther  sent  for — Ha 
hesitates  not — Dangers. 

Still  men  under  the  influence  of  prejudice  might  have  been  unable 
to  see  in  the  work  which  was  being  accomplished  more  than  the  effect 
of  vain  enthusiasm.  Facts  themselves  behoved  to  prove  the  contrary 
and  demonstrate  that  there  is  a  wide  space  between  a  reformation 
founded  on  the  word  of  God  and  a  giddy  fanaticism. 

When  a  great  religious  fermentation  takes  place  in  the  Church, 
some  impure  elements  always  mingle  with  the  manifestation  of  the 
truth.  One  or  more  false  reforms  proceeding  from  man  rise  to  the 
surface,  and  serve  as  a  testimony  or  countersign  to  true  reform. 
Thus,  in  the  days  of  Christ,  several  false  Messiahs  attested  that  the 
true  Messiah  had  appeared.  The  Reformation  of  the  sixteenth  cen 
tury  could  not  be  accomplished  without  exhibiting  a  similar  pheno 
menon.  The  place  where  it  appeared  was  the  little  town  of 

1  Perfectio  hujus  sacramenti  non  est  in  usu  fidelium.  se,d  in  consecratione  materiae. 
(Th.  Aquin.  Summa,  Quacst,  80.)  The  perfection  of  this  sacrament  is  not  in  its  use  to 
the  faithful  but  in  the  consecration  of  the  matter. 


There  were  some  men  who,  excited  by  the  great  events  which 
then  agitated  Christendom,  aspired  to  direct  revelations  from 
the  Deity,  instead  of  simply  seeking  sanctification  of  heart, 
and  who  pretended  they  had  a  call  to  complete  the  reformation 
which  had  been  feebly  sketched  by  Luther.  "What  use  is  there," 
said  they,  ".in  attaching  oneself  so  strictly  to  the  Bible  ?  The  Bible ; 
always  the  Bible !  Can  the  Bible  speak  to  us?  Is  it  not  insufficient  to 
instruct  us  ?  Had  God  designed  to  teach  us  by  a  book,  would  he  not 
have  sent  a  Bible  from  heaven  ?  It  is  by  the  Spirit  only  that  we  can 
be  illumined.  God  himself  speaks  to  us.  God  himself  reveals  to  us 
what  we  ought  to  do  and  what  we  ought  to  say."  Thus,  like  the 
partisans  of  Rome,  these  fanatics  attacked  the  fundamental  prin 
ciple  on  which  the  whole  Reformation  rests — the  sufficiency  of  the 
Word  of  God. 

A  simple  weaver,  named  Nicholas  Storck,  announced  that  the 
angel  Gabriel  had  appeared  to  him  during  the  night,  and  after 
having  communicated  to  him  things  which  he  could  not  yet 
reveal,  had  said  to  him,  "  Thou,  thou  shalt  sit  upon  my  throne."  * 
An  old  student  of  Wittemberg,  named  Mark  Stubner,  joined 
Storck,  and  forthwith  abandoned  his  studies,  having,  as  he  said, 
received  the  gift  of  interpreting  the  Holy  Scriptures  immediately 
from  God.  Mark  Thomas,  also  a  weaver,  added  to  their  number, 
and  a  new  adept,  Thomas  Munzer,  a  man  of  a  fanatical  spirit,  gave 
a  regular  organisation  to  this  new  sect.  Storck,  wishing  to  follow 
the  example  of  Christ,  chose  among  his  adherents  twelve  apostles 
and  seventy-two  disciples.  All  of  these  openly  announced,  as  a 
sect  in  our  days  has  done,  that  apostles  and  prophets  are  at  length 
restored  to  the  Church  of  God.2 

Shortly  after  the  new  prophets,  pretending  to  walk  in  the  footsteps 
of  those  of  ancient  times,  delivered  their  message.  "  Woe !  Woe !" 
said  they.  "  A  church  governed  by  men  so  corrupt  as  the  bishops 
cannot  be  the  church  of  Christ.  The  wicked  rulers  of  Christen 
dom  will  ere  long  be  overthrown.  In  five,  six,  or  seven  years,  uni 
versal  desolation  will  burst  forth.  The  Turk  will  seize  upon  Ger 
many  :  all  the  priests,  even  those  who  are  married,  will  be  put 
to  death.  No  wicked  man,  no  sinner  will  be  left  alive;  and  after 
the  earth  shall  have  been  purified  by  blood,  God  will  set  up  his 
kingdom  in  it :  Storck  will  be  put  in  possession  of  supreme  autho 
rity,  and  will  commit  the  government  of  the  nations  to  saints.5 

1  Advolasse  Gabrielem  Angelum.  (Camerarii  Vita  Melancth.  p.  48.)  2  Breviter 

de  sese  prsedicant,  viros  esse  propheticos  et  apostolicos.  (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  514.)  Briefly 
they  declare  that  they  are  prophetical  and  apostolical  men.  3  Ut  rerum  potiatur, 

et  instauret.  sacra,  et  respublicas  tradat  sanctis  viris  tenendas.  (Camerar.  Vit.  Mel. 
p.  45,)  To  become  supreme  renew  sacred  things,  and  entrust  governments  to  the 
hands  of  holy  men. 


Henceforth  there  will  be  only  one  faith  and  one  baptism.  The 
day  of  the  Lord  is  at  hand,  and  we  are  touching  on  the  end  of  the 
world.  Woe!  Woel  Woe!"  Then  declaring  that  the  baptism  re 
ceived  in  infancy  was  of  no  value,  the  new  prophets  invited  all 
men  to  come  and  receive  the  true  baptism  at  their  hands,  as  a 
sign  of  introduction  into  the  new  Church  of  God. 

These  discourses  made  a  strong  impression  on  the  people.  Some 
pious  souls  were  moved  at  the  idea  that  prophets  were  restored  to 
the  Church,  and  all  who  loved  the  marvellous  threw  themselves 
into  the  arms  of  the  eccentric  men  of  Zwickau. 

But  scarcely  had  this  old  heresy  which  had  formerly  existed  in 
the  times  of  Montanism,  and  in  the  middle  ages,  again  found  fol 
lowers  than  it  encountered  a  powerful  opponent  in  the  Eeforma- 
tion.  Nicolas  Haussman,  to  whom  Luther  bore  this  fine  testi 
mony,  "  What  we  teach,  he  practises,"1  was  pastor  of  Zwickau. 
This  good  man  did  not  allow  himself  to  be  led  astray  by  the  pre 
tensions  of  the  false  prophets.  He  laid  an  arrest  on  the  innovations 
which  Storck  and  his  adherents  wished  to  introduce,  and  in  this 
his  two  deacons  concurred  with  him.  The  fanatics,  repulsed  by 
the  ministers  of  the  Church,  plunged  into  another  excess.  They 
formed  assemblies,  in  which  revolutionary  doctrines  were  professed. 
The  people  were  excited,  and  disturbances  broke  out ;  a  priest, 
who  was  carrying  the  holy  sacrament,  was  assailed  with  volleys  of 
stones.2  The  civil  authority  interposed,  and  threw  the  most  violent 
into  prison.3  Indignant  at  this  proceeding,  and  impatient  to 
justify  themselves  and  state  their  complaint,  Storck,  Mark  Thomas, 
and  Stubner,  repaired  to  Wittemberg.4 

They  arrived  on  the  27th  December,  1521.  Storck  walked  in 
front  with  the  bearing  and  mien  of  a  trooper.5  Mark  Thomas  and 
Stubner  followed  him.  The  disquiet  which  prevailed  in  Wittem 
berg  favoured  their  designs.  The  students  and  burghers  deeply 
moved,  and  already  in  a  state  of  fermentation,  were  a  soil  well 
fitted  for  the  new  prophets. 

Thinking  themselves  sure  of  their  support,  they  immediately  re 
paired  to  the  professors  of  the  university,  in  order  to  obtain  a 
testimony  in  their  favour.  "  We,"  said  they,  "  are  sent  by  God 
to  instruct  the  people.  We  hold  familiar  converse  with  the 
Lord;  we  know  things  to  come6 — in  a  word,  we  are  apostles  and 

1  Quod  -nos  docemus,  ille  facit.  =  Em  Friester  der  das  Venerabile  getra- 

gen  mit  Steinen  geworfen.    (Seek.  p.  482.)  3  gunt  et  illic    in  vincula  corijecti. 

(Mel.  Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  513.)  4  Hue  advolarunt  tres  viri,  duo  lanifices,  literarum 

rudes,  literatus  tertius  est.  (Ibid.)  Three  men  hastened  hither,  two  of  them  clothiers 
of  no  education,  and  the  third  educated.  6  Inccdens  more  et  habitu  militum, 

istorum  quos  Lanzknecht  dicimus.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  245.)  6  Esse  gibi  cum  Deo 

familiaria  colloquia,  videre  futura  ....  (Mel.  Elector!,  27th  December,  1521. 
Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  514J 


prophets,  and  we  appeal  for  the  fact  to  Doctor  Luther."     This 
strange  language  astonished  the  professors. 

"  Who  ordained  you  to  preach?"  asked  Melancthon  of  Stubner, 
his  old  student,  who  had  lodged  in  his  house,  "  Our  Lord  God." 
"  Have  you  written  any  books? — "  Our  Lord  God  has  forbidden 
me."  Melancthon  is  moved,  astonished,  and  alarmed. 

"  There  are  extraordinary  spirits  in  these  men,"  says  he,  "  but 
what  kind  of  spirits  ?  Luther  alone  can  determine.  •  On  the  one 
hand,  let  us  beware  of  extinguishing  the  Spirit  of  God,  and  on  the 
other,  of  being  seduqed  by  the  spirit  of  the  devil."  Storck,  who 
was  of  a  restless  temper,  soon  quitted  Wittemberg.  Stubner  re 
mained.  Animated  with  an  ardent  spirit  of  proselytism,  he  went 
up  and  down  the  town,  speaking  sometimes  to  one,  and  some 
times  to  another.  Several  acknowledged  him  as  a  prophet  of 
God.  He  applied  particularly  to  a  Suabian,  named  Cellarius,  a 
friend  of  Melancthon,  who  kept  a  school,  in  which  he  instructed  a 
great  number  of  young  people  in  literature,  and  who  soon  became 
•a,  firm  believer  in  the  mission  of  the  new  apostles. 

Melancthon  became  the  more  uncertain  and  perplexed.  The 
visions  of  the  new  prophets  did  not  disturb  him  so  much  as  their 
new  doctrine  on  baptism.  It  seemed  to  him  agreeable  to  reason, 
and  he  considered  it  a  subject  worthy  of  examination;  "  for,"  said 
he,  "  it  is  not  right  either  to  admit  or  reject  any  thing  lightly."1 

Such  is  the  spirit  of  the  Reformation.  Melancthon's  hesitancy 
and  anxiety  are  proofs  of  the  uprightness  of  his  heart,  and  per 
haps  do  him  more  honour  than  a  systematic  opposition  could  have 

The  Elector,  whom  Melancthon  named  "  the  lamp  of  Israel"2 
was  also  hesitating.  Prophets  and  apostles  in  the  electorate  of 
Saxony,  as  formerly  at  Jerusalem !  "  This  is  an  important  affair," 
said  he,  "  and  as  a  layman  I  cannot  comprehend  it.  But  sooner 
than  act  against  God,  I  will  take  my  staff  in  my  hand  and  quit 
my  throne." 

At  last  he  desired  his  counsellors  to  say  to  the  professors  that  they 
had  enough  of  trouble  on  their  hands  at  Wittemberg,  that  in  all 
probability  the  pretensions  of  the  men  of  Zwickau  were  only  a  de 
lusion  of  the  devil,  and  that  the  wisest  course  seemed  to  be  to  let 
the  whole  affair  go  off;  that  nevertheless,  in  every  case  where  his 
Electoral  Highness  saw  the  will  of  God  clearly,  he  would  not  take 
counsel,  either  of  brother  or  mother,  but  would  be  ready  to  suffer 
every  thing  for  the  cause  of  truth.3 

1  Censebat  enim  neque  admittendum  neque  rejiciendum  quicquam  temere.  (Catner 
ViL  Mel.  p.  49.)  a  Elector!  lucernaa  Israel.  (Ibid.  p.  513.)  *  Dariiber  aucij 

k-iden  was  S.  C.  G.  leideu  sollt.     U>id.  p.  537.) 



Luther  in  the  Wartburg  was  apprised  of  the  agitation  which  pre 
vailed  at  the  court  and  at  Wittemberg.  Strange  men  had  appeared, 
and  it  was  difficult  to  say  whence  their  message  came.  He  in 
stantly  perceived  that  God  had  permitted  these  sad  events  to 
humble  his  servants,  and  urge  them  by  trials  to  make  greater  en 
deavours  after  sanctification. 

"  Your  Electoral  Highness,"  wrote  he  to  Frederick,  "  for  many 
years  made  search  for  relics  in  all  countries.  God  has  listened  to 
your  desires,  and  sent  you  a  cross  quite  entire,  with  nails,  spears, 
and  scourges  .  .  .  Grace  and  prosperity  to  the  new  relic!  .... 
Only  let  your  Highness  extend  your  arms  without  fear,  and  allow 
the  nails  to  sink  into  your  flesh !....!  always  expected  that 
Satan  would  send  us  this  sore  plague  .  .  .  ." 

But  at  the  same  time  nothing  appeared  to  him  more  urgent  than 
to  secure  others  in  the  liberty  which  he  claimed  for  himself.  He 
had  not  two  weights  and  two  measures."  "  Beware,"  wrote  he 
to  Spalatin,  "of  throwing  them  into  prison;  let  not  the  prince 
ern brae  his  hands  in  the  blood  of  these  new  prophets." *  Luther  was 
far  before  his  age,  and  even  before  several  other  Reformers,  on  the 
subject  of  religious  liberty. 

Circumstances  continued  to  become  more  serious  at  Wittem- 

Carlstadt  rejected  several  of  the  doctrines  of  the  new  prophets, 
and  in  particular  their  anabaptism;  but  there  is  in  religious  en 
thusiasm  something  contagious,  from  which  a  head  like  his  could 
not  easily  defend  itself.  No  sooner  had  the  men  of  Zwickau  ar 
rived  at  Wittemberg  than  Carlstadt  quickened  his  pace  in  the 
prosecution  of  violent  reforms.  "  It  is  necessary,"  said  he,  "  to  make 
an  assault  on  all  impious  customs,  and  overturn  them  in  one  day.8 
Calling  to  mind  all  the  passages  of  Scripture  against  images,  he 
declaimed  with  increasing  energy  against  the  idolatry  of  Rome. 
They  bow  and  crouch  before  these  idols,"  exclaimed  he,  "  they 
kindle  tapers  to  them,  and  present  offerings  to  them.  .  .  .  Let 
us  arise  and  pluck  them  from  their  altars!" 

These  words  did  not  sound  in  vain  in  the  ears  of  the  people. 
They  entered  the  churches,  carried  off  the  images,  broke  them  in 
pieces,  and  burnt  them.4  It  would  have  been  better  to  wait  till 
their  abolition  had  been  legally  determined;  but  it  was  thought 
that  the  tardiness  of  the  leadejrs  was  compromising  the  Reforma 
tion  itself. 

Shortly,  to  hear  these  enthusiasts,  there  were  no  longer  any  true 

1  Ne  princeps  manus  crnentet  in  prophetis.    (L.Epp.  ii,  p.  135.)  3  Ubi  fiebant 

omnia  in  dies  difficiliora.     (Camer.  Vit.  Mel.  p.  49.)  3  Irruendum  et  demolier. 

dum  statim.    We  must  rush  in  and  demolish  them  instantly.     (Ibid.)  *  Die 

lidder  zu  stiirmen  uud  aus  den  Kirehen  zu  werfen.    (Math.  p.  31.) 


Christians  in  Wittemberg  -save  those  who  did  not  confess,  who 
assailed  the  priests,  and  ate  flesh  on  forbidden  days.  Any  one 
suspected  of  not  rejecting  all  the  observances  of  Rome  as  inven 
tions  of  the  devil  was  a  worshipper  of  Baal.  "  It  is  necessary," 
exclaimed  they,  "  to  form  a  church  composed  only  of  saints." 

The  citizens  of  Wittemberg  presented  certain  articles  to  the 
Council  for  their  adoption.  Several  of  these  articles  were  con 
formable  to  evangelical  morality.  In  particular, -they  asked  that 
all  places  of  public  amusement  should  be  shut. 

But  Carlstadt  soon  went  still  farther;  he  began  to  despise  learn 
ing;  and  the  old  professor  was  heard  from  his  chair  counselling 
his  students  to  return  to  their  homes,  resume  the  hoe,  hold  the 
plough,  and  quietly  cultivate  the  ground,  since  it  was  by  the  sweat 
of  his  brow  that  man  was  to  eat  bread.  George  Mohr,  master 
of  the  school-boys  at  Wittemberg,  led  astray  by  the  same  crotchet, 
called  from  his  school  window  to  the  assembled  citizens,  to  come 
and  take  away  their  children.  What  was  the  use  of  making  them 
study  ?  Storck  and  Stubner  had  never  been  at  the  university,  and 
yet  they  were  prophets.  In  preaching  the  gospel,  therefore,  a 
citizen  was  worth  as  much,  perhaps  worth  more  than  all  the 
teachers  of  the  world. 

Thus  arose  doctrines  in  direct  opposition  to  the  Reformation, 
which  the  revival  of  letters  had  prepared.  It  was  with  the  armour 
of  theological  science  that  Luther  had  attacked  Rome;  and  yet  the 
enthusiasts  of  Wittemberg,  like  the  fanatical  monks,  whom  Eras 
mus  and  Reuchlin  had  combated,  pretended  to  trample  all  human 
knowledge  under  their  feet.  Should  Vandalism  come  to  be  es 
tablished,  the  hope  of  the  world  was  lost.  A  new  invasion  of 
barbarism  would  quench  the  light  which  God  had  again  kindled  in 

The  effects  of  these  strange  harangues  were  soon  seen.  Men's 
minds  were  prejudiced,  agitated,  turned  aside  from  the  gospel;  the 
university  was  disorganised,  and  the  students  becoming  demoral 
ised  were  dispersed — the  governments  of  Germany  recalling  such 
as  belonged  to  them.1  Thus  the  men  who  wished  to  reform,  and 
give  life  to  every  thing,  were  proceeding  in  a  course  of  destruc 
tion.  "  One  last  effort  more,"  exclaimed  the  Mends  of  Rome,  who 
were  every  where  resuming  courage — "  one  last  effort  more,  and 
all  will  be  gained."2 

The  only  means  of  saving  the  Reformation  was  a  prompt  suppres 
sion  of  the  excesses  of  the  fanatics ;  but  who  could  do  it  ?  Melanc- 
thon?  He  was  too  young,  too  feeble,  too  much  agitated  himself 

1  EtlicTie  Fursten  ihre  Bewamlten  abprefordert.  (Corp.  Ref.  5,  p.  560.)  3  Perdita 
«t  funditus  diruta.  (Cam.  Vit.  Mel.  p.  52.) 


by  these  strange  apparitions.  The  Elector?  He  was  the  most 
pacific  man  of  his  age.  To  build  the  castles  of  Altenburg,  Weimar, 
and  Coburg,  to  adorn  the  churches  with  the  fine  paintings  of  Lucas 
Cranach,  to  perfect  the  music  of  his  chapels,  to  promote  the 
prosperity  of  his  university,  to  render  his  people  happy ;  to  stop 
in  the  midst  of  the  children  whom  he  met  playing  on  the  road, 
and  distribute  little  presents  among  them, — such  were  the  sweetest 
occupations  of  his  life.  And  now,  as  he  advanced  in  life,  would  he 
come  to  close  quarters  with  fanatics,  and  oppose  violence  to  violence ! 
How  could  the  good,  the  pious  Frederick  resolve  to  do  so? 

Accordingly  the  evil  continued,  and  none  appeared  to  arrest  it. 
Luther  was  away  from  Wittemberg.  Trouble  and  ruin  had  in 
vaded  the  city.  The  Reformation  had  seen  an  enemy  arise  in  its 
bosom,  more  formidable  than  popes  and  emperors,  and  now  stood 
on  the  brink  of  the  precipice. 

"  Luther!  Luther!"  was  the  universal  cry  at  Wittemberg.  The 
burghers  urgently  called  for  him,  the  professors  longed  for  his 
counsels ;  the  prophets  themselves  appealed  to  him.  All  implored 
him  to  return.1 

We  can  conceive  what  was  passing  in  the  mind  of  the  Re 
former.  All  the  severities  of  Rome  were  nothing  in  comparison  of 
the  distress  which  now  afflicted  his  soul.  The  enemies  of  the  Re 
formation  were  coming  forth  from  her  own  bosom.  She  was  tearing 
her  own  vitals ;  and  the  doctrine,  which  alone  gave  peace  to  his  agi 
tated  heart,  was  becoming  an  occasion  of  fatal  disaster  to  the  Church. 

He  had  said,  "If  I  knew  that  my  doctrine  was  hurtful  to  man, 
to  any  one  simple  obscure  man — (this  it  cannot  be,  since  it  is  the 
gospel  itself) — I  would  sooner  die  ten  times  than  not  retract  it."  a 

And  now  a  whole  town,  and  this  town  Wittemberg,  was  falling  in 
to  error.  The  doctrine  was  no  way  to  blame ;  but  from  all  quarters 
of  Germany  voices  were  raised  to  accuse  him.  Sorrows  keener  than 
any  he  had  ever  felt  now  assailed,  and  new  temptations  agitated 
him.  "  Can  this,  then,"  he  asked  himself,  "  be  the  end  to  which 
the  work  of  the  Reformation  was  to  lead  ?"  But  he  repels  these 
doubts.  God  began,  and  God  will  accomplish.  "  I  creep  and  keep 
dragging  on  towards  the  grace  of  the  Eternal,"  exclaims  he,  "and 
entreat  that  His  name  may  remain  attached  to  this  work,  that  if 
any  thing  impure  has  mingled  with  it,  He  would  remember  that  I 
am  but  a  sinful  man."  3 

The  account  sent  to  Luther  of  the  inspiration  of  the  new  pro 
phets  and  their  sublime  converse  with  God  did  not  shake  him  for 

1  Lutherum  revocavimus  ex  lieremo  sno  magnis  de  causis.  (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  565.) 
For  strong  reasons  we  recalled  Luther  from  his  hermitage.  2  Mbchte  ich  ehe 

zelm  Ti.deii  k>vden.  (Wieder  Eraser,  L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  613.)  3  Ich  krieche  zu  seiner 
G-uideu.  (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  615.) 


one  moment.  He  knew  the  depths,  the  agonies,  and  humilia 
tions  of  the  spiritual  life.  At  Erfurth  and  Wittemberg  he  had  had 
experience  of  the  power  of  God — experience  which  did  not  allow 
him  to  believe  so  easily  that  God  should  appear  to  the  creature, 
and  hold  converse  with  him.  "  Ask  them,"  wrote  he  to  Melanc- 
thon,  "  if  they  have  experienced  those  spiritual  tortures,  those  crea 
tions  of  God,  those  deaths  and  hells  which  accompany  a  true  re 
generation.  l  And  if  they  tell  you  only  of  enjoyment  of  what  they 
call  tranquil  impressions  of  devotion  and  piety,  believe  them  not, 
even  should  they  pretend  to  have  been  earned  to  the  third  heaven. 
Christ,  in  order  that  he  might  arrive  at  his  glory,  behoved  to  pass 
through  death ;  so  must  the  believer  pass  through  the  anguish  of 
sin  before  he  arrive  at  peace.  Would  you  know  the  time,  the  place, 
the  manner  in  which  God  speaks  with  men  ?  Listen :  He  has 
broken  all  my  bones  like  a  lion;  I  am  rejected  before  his  face,  and 
my  soul  is  humbled  to  the  lowest  hell.  No  !  the  divine  majesty  (as 
they  term  it)  does  not  speak  to  man  so  directly,  that  man  can  visibly 
behold  it ;  for  no  man,  says  He,  can  see  me  and  live." 

But  the  conviction  that  the  prophets  were  deluded  only  served  to 
augment  Luther's  grief.  Is  it  true,  then,  that  the  great  doctrine  of 
salvation  by  grace  has  so  soon  lost  its  attractions  that  men  turn 
aside  from  it  to  attach  themselves  to  fables  ?  He  begins  to  expe 
rience  that  the  work  is  not  so  easy  as  he  had  at  first  supposed.  He 
stumbles  over  this  first  stone  which  the  wanderings  of  the  human 
mind  have  placed  in  his  path.  Distressed  and  in  anguish,  he  is  wil 
ling,  at  the  cost  of  his  life,  to  take  it  out  of  the  way  of  his  people, 
and  determines  on  returning  to  Wittemberg. 

Many  were  the  dangers  which  then  threatened  him.  The  enemies 
of  the  Keformation  were  confident  of  destroying  it.  George  of  Sax 
ony,  whose  wish  was  neither  for  Kome  nor  Wittemberg,  had  writ 
ten,  16th  October,  1521,  to  Duke  John  the  Elector's  brother,  ad 
vising  him  to  join  the  ranks  of  the  enemies  of  reform.  "  Some," 
said  he,  "  deny  the  immortality  of  the  soul.  Others  (and  they  are 
monks)  drag  the  relics  of  St.  Anthony  with  tinkling  bells  and  swine, 
and  cast  them  into  the  mire.2  And  all  this  comes  of  Luther's 
doctrine !  Entreat  your  brother  the  Elector  either  to  punish  the 
impious  authors  of  these  innovations,  or  publicly  to  declare  what 
his  ultimate  intentions  are.  The  whitening  of  our  locks  warns  us 
that  we  are  drawing  near  the  last  stage  of  life,  and  urge  us  to  put 
an  end  to  all  these  evils." 

After  this,  George  departed  to  take  his  seat  in  the  imperial  go- 

1  Quaeras  num  expert!  sint  spirituales  illas  angustias  et  nativitates  divinas,  mortes 
infernosque.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  215.)  Ask  whether  they  have  experienced  these  spiritual 
straits  and  divine  births,  deaths,  and  hells.  2  Jffc  gchweinen  und  Schellen  .... 

in  Roll)  gfcworfen.    (Weym.  Ann.  Seek,  p.  482.) 


veniment  established  at  Nuremberg,  and  immediately  on  his  ar 
rival  used  every  means  he  could  to  induce  the  adoption  of  severe 
measures.  In  fact,  this  body  on  the  21st  January  issued  an  edict, 
complaining  bitterly  that  the  priests  said  mass  without  being- 
clothed  in  the  sacerdotal  dress,  consecrated  the  holy  sacrament  in 
German,  dispensed  it  without  receiving  the  necessary  confessions, 
placed  it  in  the  hands  of  laics,  and  did  not  even  trouble  themselves 
to  inquire  whether  or  not  those  who  came  forward  to  take  it  had 
broken  their  fast.1 

The  imperial  government  accordingly  called  upon  the  bishops 
to  search  out  and  rigorously  punish  all  the  innovators  who  might 
be  found  within  their  respective  dioceses.  The  bishops  hastened 
to  comply  with  these  orders. 

Such  was  the  moment  which  Luther  chose  to  re- appear  upon  the 
scene.  He  saw  the  danger ;  he  foresaw  immense  disasters.  "  In 
the  empire,"  said  he,  "  there  will  soon  be  a  tumult,  which  will 
drag,  pell  mell,  princes,  magistrates,  and  bishops.  The  people  have 
eyes :  they  neither  will  nor  can  be  led  by  force.  Germany  will  swim 
in  blood.2  Let  us  place  ourselves  in  the  breach,  and  save  our 
country  in  this  great  and  terrible  day  of  the  Lord." 


Departure  from  the  Wartburg — New  Position — Luther  and  Primitive  Catholicism — 
Meeting  at  the  Black  Bear— Luther  to  the  Elector—Return  to  Wittemberg—Dis- 
courses  at  Wittemberg — Charity — the  Word — How  the  Reformation  was  effected — 
Faith  in  Christ— Effect— Didymus—Carlstadt—  The  Prophets— Conference  with 
Luther— End  of  the  Struggle. 

Such  was  Luther's  thought,  but  he  saw  a  still  more  pressing 
danger.  At  Wittemberg  the  fire,  far  from  being  extinguished, 
was  becoming  more  violent  from  day  to  day.  From  the  heights  of 
the  Wartburg,  Luther  could  discover  in  the  horizon  the  signs  of 
devastation — frightful  blazes  darting  up  suddenly  into  the  air.  Is 
not  he  the  only  one  who  can  bring  assistance  in  this  extremity? 
Will  he  not  throw  himself  into  the  midst  of  the  flames,  to  extinguish 
the  conflagration?  In  vain  do  his  enemies  prepare  to  strike  the  last 
blow ;  in  vain  does  the  Elector  implore  him  to  continue  in  the  Wart 
burg,  and  prepare  his  defence  for  the  next  Diet.  He  has  something 
more  important  to  do,  he  has  to  defend  the  gospel  itself.  "  More 

1  In  ihre  laYsche  Hande  reiche.    (L,  Op.  xviii,  p.  285.)  2  (Jermaniam  in  san 

guine  natare.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  157.) 


seilous  news  reach  me  from  day  to  day,"  writes  lie.     "I  am  pre 
paring  to  depart ;  circumstances  demand  it."  *• 

In  fact,  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd  of  March  he  rises  with  the 
determination  to  quit  the  Wartburg  for  ever.  He  bids  adieu  to 
its  old  towers  and  gloomy  forests, — crosses  the  walls  where  the 
excommunication  of  Leo  X  and  the  sword  of  Charles  V  were  un 
able  to  reach  him,  and  descends  the  mountain.  The  world  which 
extends  at  his  feet,  and  in  which  he  is  going  to  re-appear,  will  per 
haps  raise  a  death-cry  against  him.  But  no  matter  :  he  advances 
joyfully,  for  it  is  in  the  name  of  the  Lord  that  he  is  rejoining  the 
society  of  his  fellow-men.2 

Time  had  moved  onward.  Luther  came  out  of  the  Wartburg  for 
a  different  cause  from  that  for  which  he  had  entered  it.  He  had  en 
tered  as  the  assailant  of  ancient  tradition  and  ancient  doctors ;  he 
left  it  as  a  defender  of  the  doctrine  of  the  apostles  against  new  ad 
versaries.  He  had  entered  as  an  innovator  and  assailant  of  the  an 
cient  hierarchy :  he  came  out  as  its  preserver,  and  for  the  defence 
of  the  Christian  faith.  Till  now,  Luther  had  only  one  aim  in  his 
work,  viz.,  the  triumph  of  justification  by  faith ;  with  this  wea- 
^on,  he  had  struck  down  powerful  superstitions.  But  if  there  had 
been  a  time  to  pull  down,  there  behoved  also  to  be  a  time  to  build 
up.  Behind  those  ruins  with  which  his  arm  had  strewed  the 
ground — behind  those  tattered  letters  of  indulgences — those  bro 
ken  tiaras  and  torn  cowls — behind  all  the  abuses  and  errors  of 
Rome,  which  lay  in  confused  heaps  on  the  field  of  battle,  he  dis 
cerned  and  exhibited  the  primitive  Catholic  Church,  re-appearing 
always  the  same,  and  coming  forth,  after  a  long  trial,  with  its  im 
mutable  doctrines  and  heavenly  accents.  He  knew  how  to  dis 
tinguish  between  it  and  Rome :  he  hailed  it  and  embraced  it  with 
joy.  Luther  did  not,  as  he  has  been  falsely  accused,  bring  a  novelty 
into  the  world.  He  did  not  build  up  an  edifice  for  the  future  that 
had  no  connection  with  the  past.  He  discovered  and  brought  to 
light  the  old  foundation,  overgrown  with  thorns  and  brambles, 
and  merely  continuing  the  structure  of  the  temple,  built  on  the 
foundation  which  the  apostles  had  laid.  Luther  understood  that 
the  ancient  and  primitive  Church  of  the  apostles  required  on  the 
one  hand  to  be  re -built  in  opposition  to  the  papacy,  which  had.  so 
long  oppressed  it,  and  on  the  other,  to  be  defended  against  enthusi 
asts  and  unbelievers,  who  pretended  not  to  see  it,  and  who,  making 
no  account  of  all  that  God  had  done  in  times  past,  wished  to  be 
gin  a  work  entirely  new.  Luther  was  no  longer  exclusively  the 
apostle  of  a  single  doctrine,  that  of  justification,  though  he  always 

1  Ita  enim  res  postulat  ipsa.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  135.)  2  So  machte  er  sich  mit  un- 

glaublichor  Freudigkeit  des  Geistes,  im  Namen  Gottes  auf  den  Weg.    (Seek.  p.  458.) 


reserved  the  first  place  for  it; — he  became  the  apostle  of  the  whole 
Christian  system,  and  while  believing  that  the  Church  consists 
essentially  of  the  whole  body  of  the  saints,  he  by  no  means  despised 
the  visible  Church,  but  recognised  the  assembly  of  all  who  are,  call 
ed,  as  the  kingdom  of  God.  Thus  a  great  change  now  took  place  in 
Luther's  soul,  in  his  theology,  and  in  the  work  of  renovation  which 
God  was  accomplishing  in  the  world.  The  hierarchy  of  Rome  might 
perhaps  have  urged  the  Eeformer  into  an  extreme :  the  sects 
which  then  raised  their  heads  so  boldly  helped  to  bring  him  to  the 
proper  medium.  His  residence  in  the  Wartburg  divides  the  history 
of  the  Reformation  into  two  periods. 

Luther  was  trotting  along  the  road  to  Wittemberg  on  the  second 
day  of  his  journey,  which  was  Shrove  Tuesday.  Towards  even 
ing  a  dreadful  storm  arose  and  inundated  the  roads.  Two  young 
Swiss,  who  were  pfoceeding  in  the  same  direction,  hastened  on  in 
order  to  take  shelter  in  the  town  of  Jena.  They  had  studied  at 
Bale,  but  were  on  their  way  to  Wittemberg,  attracted  by  the  great 
celebrity  of  its  University.  Travelling  on  foot,  fatigued,  and 
drenched,  John  Kessler  of  St.  Gall,  and  his  companion,  quickened 
their  pace.  The  town  was  in  the  full  gayety  of  the  carnival : 
dances,  masquerades,  and  noisy  feasts  occupied  all  the  inhabitants 
of  Jena,  and  when  the  two  travellers  arrived,  every  inn  was  oc 
cupied.  At  last  the  Black  Bear,  in  front  of  the  town  gate,  was 
mentioned  to  them.  Jaded  and  out  of  spirits,  they  sadly  repaired 
to  it.  The  host  received  them  kindly,1  and  they  sat  down  near 
the  door  opening  into  the  public  room,  without  presuming  to  en 
ter,  being  ashamed  of  the  state  into  which  the  storm  had  put 
them.  At  one  of  the  tables  sat  a  solitary  individual  in  the  dress 
of  a  knight ;  his  head  was  covered  with  a  red  cap,  and  his  underdress 
was  covered  by  the  skirts  of  his  doublet ;  his  right  hand  rested  on 
the  pommel  of  his  sword,  while  his  left  held  it  by  the  hilt.  A 
book  was  open  before  him,  and  he  seemed  to  be  reading  with  great 
attention.2  At  the  noise  made  by  the  two  youths,  he  raised  his 
head,  saluted  them  courteously,  and  invited  them  to  come  forward 
and  take  a  seat  at  table  with  him ;  then  offering  them  a  glass  of 
beer,  and  referring  to  their  accent,  he  said  to  them,  "  You  are 
Swiss,  I  see,  but  of  what  Canton?"  "St.  Gall." — "If  you  are  go 
ing  to  Wittemberg  you  will  find  a  countryman  there,  Dr.  Schurff." 
Encouraged  by  this  kind  reception,  they  asked,  "  Sir,  are  you  not 
able  to  tell  us  where  Martin  Luther  now  is  ?  "  "I know  for  certain," 
replied  the  knight,  "  that  Luther  is  not  at  Wittemberg,  but  is 

1  See  Kessler's  narrative  with  all  its  details,  in  the  simple  language  of  the  period 
in  Bernet,  Johann  Kessler,  p.  27.  Hanhard  Erzahlungen,  iii,  p.  300,  and  Marhein- 
«ck#.  Gesch.  der  Ref.  ii,  p.  321, 2nd  edition.  «  In  einem  rothen  Schlbpli,in  blossec 
Ho«en  and  Wammt.  .  .  .  (Ibid.) 


to  be  soon.  Philip  Melancthon  is  there.  Study  Greek  and 
Hebrew,  that  you  may  have  a  good  understanding  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures."  "  If  God  spares  our  lives,"  replied  one  of  the  youths 
of  St.  Gall,  "  we  shall  not  return  home  till  we  have  seen  and  heard 
doctor  Luther,  for  it  is  on  account  of  him  we  have  undertaken 
this  long  journey.  We  know  that  he  wishes  to  overthrow  the  priest 
hood  and  the  mass,  and  as  our  parents  have,  from  our  infancy,  in 
tended  us  for  priests,  we  would  fain  know  on  what~he  bottoms  his 
enterprise."  The  knight  was  silent  for  a  moment,  and  then  said, 
"  where  have  you  studied  hitherto  ?  "  "  At  Bale."  "  Is  Erasmus  of 
Rotterdam  still  there  ? — what  is  he  about  ?  "  They  answered  these 
questions,  and  there  was  a  new  pause.  The  two  Swiss  knew  not 
what  to  think.  "  Is  it  not  a  strange  thing,"  said  they,  "  that  this 
knight  talks  to  us  of  Schurff,  Melancthon,  and  Erasmus,  and  of 
the  necessity  of  studying  Greek  and  Hebrew."  "Dear  friends,"  said 
the  stranger  abruptly,  "what  is  thought  of  Luther  in  Switzer 
land?"  "Sir,"  replied  Kessler,  "opinions  differ,  as  every  where 
else ;  some  cannot  extol  him  sufficiently ;  others  condemn  him 
as  an  abominable  heretic."  "  Ah,  the  priests,  no  doubt,"  said  the 

The  knight's  affability  had  put  the  two  students  at  their  ease. 
They  longed  eagerly  to  know  what  book  he  was  reading  at  the 
moment  of  their  arrival.  The  knight  had  closed  it  and  laid  it 
down  near  him.  Kessler's  companion  was  at  length  emboldened  to 
take  it  up.  What  was  the  astonishment  of  the  two  youths !  The 
Psalms  in  Hebrew.  The  student  immediately  laid  down  the  book, 
and  wishing  to  make  his  indiscretion  be  forgotten,  said,  "  I 
would  willingly  give  one  of  my  fingers  to  know  this  language." 
"  This  you  will  certainly  do,"  replied  the  stranger,  "  if  you  take 
the  trouble  to  learn  it." 

Some  moments  after  Kessler  heard  himself  called  by  the  host. 
The  poor  young  Swiss  feared  something  was  wrong,  but  the  host 
whispered  to  him,  "  I  perceive  you  have  a  great  desire  to  see  and 
hear  Luther;  very  well,  he  is  sitting  beside  you."  Kessler  taking 
it  for  a  joke  said,  "  Ah,  host,  you  want  to  hoax  me."  "  It  is  he,  cer 
tainly,"  replied  the  host,  "  only  don't  let  it  be  seen  that  you  know 
who  he  is."  Kessler  gave  no  answer,  and  returned  to  the  table, 
burning  with  eagerness  to  repeat  what  he  had  heard  to  his  com 
panion.  But  how  was  he  to  do  it  ?  At  last  it  occurred  to  him 
to  lean  forward  as  if  he  were  looking  to  the  door,  when,  being 
close  to  his  friend's  ear,  he  whispered  to  him,  "  the  host  assures  me 
that  this  is  Luther."  "He  perhaps  said  Hiitten,"  replied  his 
companion,  "  you  may  have  misunderstood  him."  "  It  is  quite  pos 
sible,"  replied  Kessler,  "  the  host  may  have  said  Hiitten :  the  two 
sounds  are  not  unlike,  I  may  have  mistaken  the  one  for  the  other." 


At  this  moment  the  trampling  of  horses  was  heard  in  front  of  the 
hotel;  and  two  merchants,  who  wished  to  pass  the  night  there,  en 
tered  the  room.  After  taking  off  their  spurs,  and  laying  aside  their 
cloaks,  one  of  them  put  down  on  the  table  beside  him  an  unbound 
volume,  which  immediately  caught  the  eye  of  the  knight.  "  What 
book  is  that?"  said  he.  "An  exposition  of  some  gospels  and  epis 
tles  by  Dr.  Luther,"  replied  the  merchant :  "  it  has  just  appeared." 
"  I  shall  soon  have  it,"  replied  the  knight. 

The  host  at  this  moment  announced  supper.  The  two  students, 
fearing  the  expence  of  a  repast  in  company  with  the  chevalier, 
Ulric  Von  Hlitten  and  the  rich  merchants,  took  the  host  aside,  and 
begged  him  to  give  them  something  by  themselves.  "Stay,  my 
friends,"  replied  the  host  of  the  Black  Bear,  "  take  your  seat  at 
table  beside  this  gentleman ;  I  will  charge  moderately."  "  Come," 
said  the  knight,  "I  will  settle  the  charge." 

During  the  repast  the  stranger  knight  made  many  simple  and 
edifying  observations.  The  merchants  and  students  were  riveted, 
and  paid  more  attention  to  his  conversation  than  to  the  dishes  that 
were  served  up.  "  Luther  must  either  be  an  angel  from  heayen 
or  a  devil  of  hell,"  said  one  of  the  merchants  in  the  course  of  the 
conversation,  and  then  added,  "  I  would  willingly  give  ten  florins 
to  meet  Luther  and  be  able  to  confess  to  him." 

When  the  supper  was  ended  the  merchants  rose  up,  and  the  two 
Swiss  remained  alone  with  the  knight,  who,  taking  a  large  glass  of 
beer,  lifted  it  and  said  gravely,  according  to  the  custom  of  the 
country,  "  Swiss,  one  glass  more  for  thanks."  As  Kessler  was 
going  to  take  the  glass,  the  stranger  put  it  down  and  presented  him 
with  one  filled  with  wine :  "  You  are  not  accustomed  to  beer," 
said  he. 

He  then  rose  up,  threw  a  military  cloak  on  his  shoulders,  shook 
hands  with  the  students,  and  said  to  them,  "  When  you  arrive  at 
Wittemberg,  give  my  compliments  to  Doctor  Jerome  Schurff." — 
"Willingly,"  replied  they;  "but  from  whom  shall  we  say?" 
"  Say  simply,"  replied  he,  "  He  who  is  coming  salutes  you."  On 
this  he  walked  out,  leaving  them  in  admiration  at  his  courtesy 
and  meekness. 

Luther,  for  it  was  indeed  he,  continued  his  journey.  Be  it  re 
membered  he  had  been  put  under  the  ban  of  the  empire;  whosoever 
met  him  and  recognised  him  might  lay  hands  upon  him.  But  at 
the  moment  when  he  was  executing  an  enterprise  which  exposed 
him  to  every  risk,  he  discoursed  gaily  with  those  whom  he  met 
on  his  way. 

It  was  not  because  he  was  under  any  illusion.  He  saw  the 
future  big  with  storms.  "  Satan,"  said  he,  "  is  transported  with 


rage,  and  all  around  me  meditate  death  and  hell.1  I  advance, 
nevertheless,  and  throw  myself  in  the  way  of  the  emperor  and  the 
pope,  having  none  to  defend  me  save  God  in  heaven.  On  the  part 
of  man  power  has  been  given  to  every  one  to  slayme  wheresoever  I 
am  found.  But  Christ  is  the  Lord  of  all :  if  it  is  his  will  that  I 
be  slain,  so  be  iU" 

The  same  day,  being  Ash  Wednesday,  Luther  arrived  at  Borne, 
-a  small  town  near  Leipsic.  Feeling  that  he  ought  to  give  notice 
to  his  prince  of  the  bold  step  which  he  was  going  to  take,  he  wrote 
him  the  following  letter  from  the  Conductor  Tavern  where  he  had 

"  Grace  and  peace  from  God  our  Father  and  from  the  Lord  Jesus 

"Most  serene  Elector!  gracious  lord!  what  has  happened  at 
Wittemberg  to  the  great  shame  of  the  gospel  has  filled  me  with 
such  grief  that  if  I  were  not  certain  of  the  truth  of  our  cause  I 
would  have  despaired  of  it, 

"  Your  Highness  knows,  or  if  not,  please  to  be  informed,  I 
received  the  gospel  not  from  men  but  from  heaven,  by  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ.  If  I  have  asked  for  conferences,  it  was  not  because 
I  had  doubts  of  the  truth,  but  from  humility,  and  for  the  pur 
pose  of  winning  others.  But  since  my  humility  is  turned  against 
the  gospel,  my  conscience  now  impels  me  to  act  in  a  different  man 
ner.  I  have  yielded  enough  to  your  highness  in  exiling  myself 
during  this  year.  The  devil  knows  it  was  not  from  fear  I  did  it. 
I  would  have  entered  Worms  though  there  had  been  as  many 
devils  in  the  town  as  there  were  tiles  on  the  roofs.  Now  Duke 
George  with  whom  your  Highness  tries  so  much  to  frighten  me,  is 
far  less  to  be  feared  than  a  single  devil.  Had  that  which  has  taken 
place  at  Wittemberg  taken  place  at  Leipsic  (the  duke's  residence),  I 
would  instantly  have  mounted  my  horse  and  gone  thither,  even 
though  (let  your  Highness  pardon  the  expression,)  for  nine  days  it 
should  have  done  nothing  but  rain  Duke  Georges,  and  every  one  of 
them  been  nine  times  more  furious  than  he  is.  What  is  he  thinking 
of  in  attacking  me  ?  Does  he  take  Christ,  my  Lord,  for  a  man  of 
straw  ?  2  The  Lord  be  pleased  to  avert  the  dreadful  judgment 
which  is  impending  over  him  I 

"  It  is  necessary  for  your  Highness  to  know  that  I  am  on  my  way 
to  Wittemberg  under  a  more  powerful  protection  than  that  of  an 
elector.  I  have  no  thought  of  soliciting  the  assistance  of  your 
Highness  :  so  far  from  desiring  your  protection,  I  would  rather  give 

1  Furit  Satanas  ;  et  fremunt  vicini  undique,  neseio  quot  mortibus  et  infernis.  (L. 
Kp.  H,  p.  153.)  Satan  rages,  and  the  neighbours  mutter  on  every  ride,  with  I  know  not 
how  many  deaths  and  lielK  a  Er  Halt  meinen  Herrn  Christum  ftir  ein  Mann 

aus  Stroh  geflochten.     (Ibid.  p.  139.) 


you  mine.  If  I  knew  that  your  Highness  could  or  would  protect 
me,  I  would  not  come  to  Wittemberg.  No  sword  can  give  any 
aid  to  this  cause.  God  alone  must  do  all  without  human  aid  or 
co-operation.  He  who  has  most  faith  is  the  best  protector.  Now 
I  observe  that  your  Highness  is  still  very  weak  in.  the  faith. 

"But  since  your  Highness  desires  to  know  what  to  do,  I  will 
answer  with  all  humility.  Your  electoral  Highness  has  already 
done  too  much,  and  ought  to  do  nothing  at  all.  God  does  not  wish 
and  cannot  tolerate  either  your  cares  and  labours,  or  mine.  Let 
your  Highness,  therefore,  act  accordingly. 

u  In  regard  to  what  concerns  myself,  your  Highness  must  act  as 
elector.  You  must  allow  the  orders  of  his  imperial  Majesty  to  be 
executed  in  your  towns  and  rural  districts.  You  must  not  throw 
any  difficulty  in  the  way,  should  it  be  wished  to  apprehend  or  slay 
me  i1  for  none  must;  oppose  the  powers  that  be  save  He  who  estab 
lished  them. 

"  Let  your  Highness  then  leave  the  gates  open,  and  respect  safe- 
conducts,  should  my  enemies  themselves,  or  their  envoys,  enter  the 
states  of  your  Highness  in  search  of  me.  In  this  way  you  will  avoid 
all  embarrassment  and  danger. 

"  I  have  written  this  letter  in  haste  that  you  may  not  be  dis 
concerted  on  learning  my  arrival.  He  with  whom  I  have  to 
deal  is  a  different  person  from  Duke  George.  He  knows  me  well, 
and  I  know  something  of  him. 

"  Borne,  the  Conductor  Hotel,  Ash  Wednesday,  1522. 

u  Your  Electoral  Highnesses  most  humble  Servant, 


Thus  Luther  was  drawing  year  to  Wittemberg.  He  wrote  to 
the  prince,  but  not  to  apologise.  Immovable  confidence  filled  hi& 
heart.  He  saw  the  hand  of  God  in  the  cause,  and  this  sufficed 
him.  Never,  perhaps,  was  the  heroism  of  faith  more  conspicuously 
displayed.  One  of  the  editions  of  Luther's  works  has  on  the  margin 
these  words,  "This  is  a  marvellous  production  of  the  third  and  last 
Elias."  1 

On  Friday,  the  7th  March,  Luther  again  entered  Wittemberg,, 
having  been  five  days  in  coming  from  Eisenach.  Professors,, 
students,  citizens,  all  gave  full  utterance  to  their  joy.  They  had 
recovered  the  pilot  who  alone  could  bring  on0  the  ship  from  the  shal 
lows  on  which  it  had  been  cast. 

The  elector,  who  was  with  his  court  at  Lockau,  was  much  affect 
ed  on  reading  Luther's  letter.  He  felt  desirous  to  defend  him 
before  the  Diet,  and  wrote  to  Schurff,  "  Let  him  send  me  a  letter 
explaining  his  motives  for  returning  to  Wittemberg,  and  let  him  say 

*  (Jnd  ja'niclit  weliren  ....  so  sie  mich  fahen  oder  tod  ten  will.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  140.) 
'••  Dei-  vvahrp.  dritte  und  letzte  Elias  .  .  .  .  (L.  Op.  (L.)  xviii,  p.  271.) 


also  in  it  that  he  returned  without  my  permission."    Luther  agreed 
to  do  so. 

u  I  am  ready,"  wrote  he  to  the  prince,  u  to  endure  the  displea 
sure  of  your  Highness  and  the  anger  of  the  whole  world.  Are  not 
the  inhabitants  of  Wittemberg  my  brood  ?  Has  not  God  entrust 
ed  them  to  me  ?  And  am  not  I  bound  to  expose  myself  to  death 
for  them  ?  I  fear,  moreover,  the  breaking  out  in  Germany  of  some 
great  revolution  by  which  God  will  punish  our  country.  Let  your 
Highness  be  well  assured  that  the  decision  in  heaven  has  been  very 
different  from  that  at  Nuremberg." 1  This  letter  was  written  the 
very  day  of  Luther's  arrival. 

The  next  day  being  the  eve  of  the  first  Sunday  of  Lent,  Luther 
repaired  to  the  house  of  Jerome  Schurff,  where  Melancthon,  Jonas, 
Amsdorff,  and  Augustin  Schurff  were  met.  Luther  eagerly  asked 
them  many  questions,  and  they  were  informing  him  of  all  that  had 
taken  place,  when  it  was  announced  that  two  foreign  students 
wished  to  speak  to  Doctor  Jerome.  On  appearing  in  the  midst  of 
this  meeting  of  doctors,  the  two  youths  of  St.  Gall  were  at  first 
abashed,  but  they  soon  recovered  on  perceiving  among  them  the 
knight  of  the  Black  Bear,  who  immediately  went  up  to  them,  ac 
costed  them  as  old  acquaintances,  smiled  to  them,  and  pointing 
with  his  finger  to  one  of  the  doctors,  said,  "  That  is  Philip  Melanc 
thon  of  whom  I  spoke  to  you."  In  honour  of  the  meeting  at  Jena, 
the  two  Swiss  spent  the  whole  day  with  the  doctors  of  Wittemberg. 

One  great  thought  occupied  the  Reformer,  and  made  him  forget 
the  joy  he  felt  at  being  again  in  the  midst  of  his  friends.  No  doubt 
the  theatre  on  which  he  now  appeared  was  obscure :  it  was  in  a 
small  town  of  Saxony  that  he  was  going  to  raise  his  voice,  and 
yet  his  undertaking  had  all  the  importance  of  an  event  which  was 
to  influence  the  destinies  of  the  world.  Many  nations  and  many 
ages  were  to  feel  its  effects.  The  point  to  be  determined  was,  whe 
ther  this  doctrine  which  he  had  drawn  from  the  word  of  God,  and 
which  was  destined  to  exert  so  powerful  an  influence  on  the  future 
progress  of  humanity,  would  be  stronger  than  the  principles  of 
destruction  which  threatened  its  existence — whether  it  was  possible 
to  reform  without  destroying,  and  to  pave  the  way  for  further  pro 
gress,  without  destroying  that  already  made.  To  silence  fanatics 
in  the  first  heat  of  enthusiasm,  to  master  a  whole  multitude  broken 
loose,  to  calm  them  down,  and  bring  them  back  to  order,  peace, 
and  truth  ;  to  break  the  force  of  this  impetuous  torrent  which  was 
threatening  to  throw  down  the  rising  edifice  of  the  Reformation, 
and  scatter  its  wrecks  around ; — such  was  the  work  for  which 

1  L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  143.     Lirher  had  to  change  this  passage  in  his  letter  at  the  request 
oi  the  Elector.  , 

62  WORK  TO  BE  DONE. 

Luther  had  returned  to  Wittemberg.  But  would  his  influence  be 
sufficient  ?  This  events  only  could  determine. 

The  soul  of  the  Reformer  shuddered  at  the  thought  of  the  com 
bat  which  awaited  him.  He  stood  up  like  a  lion  goaded  on  to 
battle,  and  shaking  his  bushy  mane,  "  Now  is  the  time,"  said  he, 
uto  trample  Satan  under  foot,  and  combat  the  angel  of  darkness. 
If  our  adversaries  retire  not  of  their  own  accord,  Christ  will  con 
strain  them.  We  are  the  masters  of  life  and  death,  we  who  be 
lieve  in  the  Master  of  life  and  death." 1 

But  at  the  same  time,  the  impetuous  Reformer,  as  if  subdued  by 
a  higher  power,  refused  to  make  use  of  the  anathemas  and  thun 
ders  of  the  Word,  and  became  a  humble  pastor,  a  meek  shepherd  of 
souls.  "It  is  by  the  Word,"  said  he,  "  that  we  must  fight,  by 
the  Word  overturn  and  destroy  what  has  been  established  by  vio 
lence.  I  am  unwilling  to  employ  force  against  the  superstitious  or 
the  unbelieving.  Let  him  who  believes  approach ;  let  him  who 
believes  not  stand  aloof.  None  ought  to  be  constrained.  Liberty 
is  of  the  essence  of  faith."2 

The  next  day  was  Sabbath,  and  on  that  day,  in  the  Church,  in  the 
pulpit,  the  people  were  again  to  behold  the  teacher  whom  for  nearly 
a  year  the  Wartburg  had  concealed  from  every  eye.  The  news 
spread  in  Wittemberg — Luther  is  returned — Luther  is  going  to 
preach.  These  news  passing  from  mouth  to  mouth  were  in  them 
selves  a  powerful  diversion  to  the  notions  by  which  the  people 
flad  been  led  astray.  The  hero  of  Worms  is  going  again  to  appear. 
Crowds  press  forward  from  all  directions,  and  on  Sabbath  morn 
ing  the  church  was  filled  with  an  attentive  and  excited  audience. 

Luther  divines  the  feeling  of  his  hearers  :  he  mounts  the  pulpit, 
and  there  stands  in  presence  of  the  flock  whom  he  was  wont  to  lead 
like  one  gentle  sheep,  but  who  had  now  broken  loose  and  assum 
ed  the  appearance  of  an  untamed  bull.  His  discourse  is  simple,  yet 
dignified,  replete  at  once  with  force  and  mildness.  He  might  have 
been  described  as  a  tender  parent  just  returned  to  his  children,  en 
quiring  how  they  have  behaved,  and  telling  them  kindly  of  what 
he  had  heard  respecting  them.  He  candidly  acknowledges  the 
progress  which  they  had  made  in  the  faith.  Having  thus  prepared 
and  gained  their  minds,  he  continues  in  the  following  terms : — 

"But  there  must  be  more  than  faith:  there  must  be  charity. 
When  a  man  with  a  sword  in  his  hand  is  by  himself,  it  is  of  no 
consequence  whether  or  not  he  keeps  it  in  the  scabbard,  but  if  he 
is  in  the  midst  of  a  crowd,  he  must  act  in  such  a. manner  as  not 
to  hurt  any  one. 

1  Domini  enim  sunius  vitae  et  mortis.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  150.;  3  Xon  eiupi  ad 

fidem  et  ad  ea  qu*  fidei  snn|,  ullus  cogtndus  est.  (Ibid.,  p.  151.)  For  m>  man  u.u« 
be  driven  by  compulsion  to  faith  and  the  things  thereto  appertaining:. 


"How  does  a  mother  do  with  her  child?  At  first  she  gives  it 
milk,  and  thereafter  the  most  easily  digested  food.  Were  she  to 
'begin  by  giving  it  flesh  and  wine,  what  would  the  result  be?  ... 

"  So  ought  we  to  do  with  our  brethren.  Have  you  had  enough 
of  the  breast,  my  friend  ?  very  well ;  allow  your  brother  to  have 
it  as  long  as  you  have  had  it  yourself. 

"  Behold  the  sun.  .  .  .  There  are  two  things  he  gives  us — light 
and  heat.  There  is  no  king  so  powerful  as  to  be  able  to  interrupt 
Li*'  rays  :  they  come  to  us  in  a  straight  line ;  but  the  heat  radiates 
and  transfuses  itself  in  all  directions.  Thus  faith  ought  to  be  like 
light,  straight  and  inflexible;  but  charity  should,  like  heat,  radiate 
in  all  directions,  and  bend  to  meet  all  the  wants  of  our  brethren." 

Luther  having  thus  prepared  his  hearers,  comes  to  still  closer 

u  The  abolition  of  the  mass,  you  say,  is  conformable  to  Scrip 
ture.  Agreed.  But  what  order,  what  decorum  have  you  observed  ? 
You  ought  to  have  presented  fervent  prayers  to  the  Lord :  you 
ought  to  have  applied  to  constituted  authority,  which,  in  that  case, 
might  have  been  able  to  perceive  that  the  work  was  of  God.  .  ." 

Thus  spake  Luther.  The  bold  man  who  had  at  Worms  with 
stood  the  princes  of  the  earth,  produced  a  powerful  impression  by 
these  words  of  wisdom  and  peace.  Carlstadt  and  the  prophets  of 
Zwickau,  who  for  some  weeks  had  been  so  high  and  mighty,  and 
who  had  agitated  and  lorded  it  over  Wittemberg,  became  dwarfs 
when  placed  beside  the  prisoner  of  the  Wartburg. 

"  The  mass,"  he  continues,  "  is  a  bad  thing :  God  is  inimical  to 
it :  it  must  be  abolished,  and  I  could  wish  that  over  the  whole  world 
it  were  supplanted  by  the  supper  of  the  Gospel.  But  let  nobody  be 
driven  from  it  by  violence.  The  affair  must  be  committed  to 
God.  His  Word  must  act,  not  we.  And  why  ?  you  will  say. 
Because  I  do  not  hold  the  hearts  of  men  in  my  hand  as  the  potter 
does  the  clay.  We  have  a  right  to  speak,  but  not  to  act.  Let  us 
preach — the  rest  belongs  to  God.  If  I  employ  force,  what  shall  I 
obtain  ?  Grimace,  appearances,  apishness,  human  ordinances, 
hypocrisy  ....  But  there  will  be  no  sincerity  of  heart,  no  faith, 
no  charity.  Any  work  in  which  these  three  things  are  wanting 
wants  every  thing,  and  I  would  not  give  a  pin  for  it.1 

"  The  first  thing  to  be  gained  from  people  is  their  heart,  and  for 
this  it  is  necessary  to  preach  the  gospel.  Then  the  Word  will 
descend  on  one  heart  to-day,  and  on  another  to-morrow,  and  ope 
rate  in  such  a  way  that  each  will  withdraw  from  the  mass,  and 
abandon  it.  God  does  more  by  his  mere  Word  than  you  and  I,  and 

1  Ich  wollte  nicht  einen  Birnstiel  dr:mf  geben.    (1..  Op.  L.  xviii,  p.  255.) 


all  the  world  could  do  by  uniting  our  utmost  strength.  God  takes 
possession  of  the  heart,  and  when  the  heart  is  taken  every  thing  is 

"  I  do  not  say  this  in  order  to  re-establish  the  mass.  Since  it  is 
down,  let  it,  in  God's  name,  so  remain.  But  was  the  matter  gone 
about  as  it  ought  to  have  been  ?  Paul,  having  one  day  arrived  at 
Athens,  a  great  city,  found  altars  erected  to  false  gods.  He  went 
from  one  to  another,  viewed  them  all,  and  touched  none.  But  he 
quietly  repaired  to  the  market-place,  and  declared  to  the  people 
that  all  their  Gods  were  only  idols.  His  words  took  possession  of 
their  hearts,  and  the  idols  fell  without  being  touched  by  Paul. 

"  I  wish  to  speak,  to  preach,  to  write,  but  I  wish  not  to  constrain 
any  one,  for  faith  is  a  voluntary  matter.  See  what  I  have  done  ! 
I  have  withstood  the  pope,  indulgences,  and  the  papists,  but  with 
out  tumult  and  violence.  I  have  put  forward  the  Word  of  God — 
have  preached — have  written,  but  this  is  all  I  have  done.  And 
while  I  was  asleep,  or  seated  in  a  friendly  way  at  table  with 
Amsdorif  and  Melancthon,  conversing  with  them  over  a  pot  of 
Wittemberg  beer,  the  Word  which  I  had  preached  overthrew 
the  papacy,  assailing  it  more  effectually  than  was  ever  done 
by  prince  or  emperor,  i  have  done  nothing :  the  Word  alone  has 
done  all.  Had  I  chosen  to  appeal  to  force,  perhaps  Germany  might 
have  been  bathed  in  blood.  But  what  would  have  been  the  con 
sequence  ?  Kuin  and  desolation  to  soul  and  body.  I  therefore  re 
mained  quiet,  and  allowed  the  Word  itself  to  have  free  course  in 
the  world.  Do  you  know  what  the  Devil  thinks  when  he  sees  re 
course  had  to  force  in  order  to  spread  the  gospel  among  men  ? 
Seated,  with  his  arms  across,  behind  the  flames  of  hell,  Satan,  with 
malignant  leer,  and  frightful  smile,  says — '  Ah,  how  sagely  these 
fools  are  playing  my  game.'  But  Avhen  he  sees  the  Word  running 
and  wrestling  alone  on  the  field  of  battle,  then  it  is  he  feels  uneasy, 
and  his  knees  tremble  :  he  mutters,  and  swoons  with  terror." 

Luther  again  appeared  in  the  pulpit  on  Tuesday :  his  power 
ful  eloquence  again  resounded  in  the  midst  of  a  deeply  impressed 
audience.  He  preached  successively  on  Wednesday,  Thursday, 
Friday,  Saturday,  and  Sabbath.  He  passed  in  review  the  destruc 
tion  of  images,  the  distinction  of  meats,  the  observances  at  the 
supper,  the  restoration  of  the  cup,  and  the  abolition  of  confession. 
He  showed  that  those  points  were  still  more  indifferent  than  the 
mass,  and  that  the  authors  of  the  disorders,  which  had  taken  place 
at  Wittemberg,  had  grossly  abused  their  liberty.  He  gave  utterance 
alternately  to  accents  of  Christian  charity  and  to  bursts  of  holy, 

In  particular,  he  inveighed  forcibly  against  those  who  com- 


municated  thoughtlessly  at  the  Lord's  Supper.  "  What  makes 
the  Christian,"  said  he,  uis  not  the  external  eating,  but  the  in 
ternal  and  spiritual  eating  which  is  produced  by 'faith,  and  with 
out  which,  all  forms  whatsoever  are  only  show  and  vain  grimace. 
Now  this  faith  consists  in  firmly  believing  that  Jesus  Christ  is 
the  Son  of  God;  that  being  ladened  with  our  sins  and  iniquities, 
and  having  borne  them  upon  the  cross,  he  is  himself  the  sole,  the  all- 
}K)wcrful  expiation :  that  he  is  now  continually  in  the  presence  of 
God,  that  he  reconciles  us  with  the  Father,  and  has'given  us  the 
sacrament  of  his  body  in  order  to  confirm  our  faith  in  this  ineffable 
mercy.  If  I  believe  these  things,  God  is  my  defender :  with  him 
I  defy  sin,  death,  hell,  devils — they  cannot  do  me  any  harm,  nor 
even  ruffle  a  hair  of  my  head.  This  spiritual  bread  is  the  consola 
tion  of  the  afflicted,  the  cure  of  the  sick,  the  life  of  the  dying,  the 
food  of  the  hungry,  and  the  treasure  of  the  poor.  He,  then,  who 
is  not  sorry  for  his  sins,  ought  not  to  come  to  this  altar :  what 
would  he  do  there  ?  Ah !  let  our  conscience  accuse  us,  let  our 
hearts  be  torn  at  the  thought  of  our  faults,  and  we  will  not  ap- 
j>roach  the  holy  sacrament  with  so  much  rashness." 

Crowds  ceased  not  to  fill  the  temple :  numbers  even  flocked 
from  the  neighbouring  towns  to  hear  tb  e  E  e w  Elias.  Capito,  among 
others,  came  and  spent  two  days  at  Wittemberg,  and  heard  two  of 
the  doctor's  sermons.  Never  had  Luther  and  the  chaplain  of  cardinal 
Albert  been  so  much  of  one  mind.  Melancthon,  the  magistrates, 
the  professors,  and  all  the  people  ,were  overjoyed.1  Schurff,  delighted 
at  this  issue  of  an  affair  which  promised  to  be  so  serious,  hastened 
to  acquaint  the  Elector,  to  whom  lie  wrote,  Friday,  15th  March, 
(the  day  on  which  Luther  had  delivered  his  sixth  discourse.) 
i4  What  joy  the  return  of  doctor  Martin  diffuses  among  us !  His 
discourses,  by  the  help  of  divine  grace,  are  daily  bringing  back 
OUT  poor  erring  souls  into  the  way  of  truth.  It  is  clear  as  the  sun 
that  the  Spirit  of  God  is  in  him,  and  that  by  his  special  appoint 
ment  he  has  returned  to  Wittemberg."  2 

In  fact  these  discourses  are  models  of  popular  eloquence,  though 
notof  the  sort  which  aroused  men's  minds  in  the  days  of  Demosthenes 
-or  even  Savonarola.  The  task  which  the  orator  of  Wittemberg 
had  to  perform  was  more  difficult.  It  is  easier  to  rouse  a  wild 
beast  than  to  calm  its  fury.  The  thing  required  was  to  appease 
a  fanatical  multitude  ;  to  tame  passions  which  had  been  let  loose  : 
nnd  tills  Luther  did.  In  his  eight  discourses  the  Reformer  did 
not  allow  a  single  painful  allusion  to  escape,  a  single  word  calcu 
lated  to  offend  the  authors  of  the  disturbances.  But  the  more 

1  Grosse  Freude  uml  Frolilocken  nnter  Gelehrten  und  Ungelehrten.  (L.  Op.  xviii, 
l>.  HIK.)  2  A  us  SMuulerticher  Schickuag  defj  Alimachtigeti  .  ^  .  .  .(Ibid.) 


moderate,  the  stronger  he  was  ;  the  greater  the  delicacy  towards 
those  who  had  gone  astray,  the  more  he  avenged  insulted  truth  - 
How  could  the  people  of  Wittemberg  resist  his  powerful  eloquence  ? 
The  discourses  which  recommend  moderation  are  usually  attribu 
ted  to  moderation,  policy,  or  fear.  Here  there  was  nothing  of  the 
kind.  Luther  appeared  before  the  people  of  Wittemberg  braving 
the  excommunication  of  the  pope,  and  the  proscription  of  the 
emperor.  He  returned,  though  forbidden  by  the  Elector,  who  de 
clared  his  inability  to  defend  him.  Even  at  Worms,  Luther  had 
not  shown  more  courage.  He  was  confronting  the  most  threatening 
dangers,  and  accordingly  his  voice  was  not  disregarded.  This  man 
who  braved  the  scaffold  was  entitled  to  exhort  others  to  submis 
sion.  He  may  boldly  preach  obedience  to  God,  who,  in  doing 
so,  exposes  himself  to  every  kind  of  persecution  from  man.  At 
Luther's  preaching,  objections  vanished,  tumult  was  appeased r 
sedition  ceased  its  clamour,  and  the  citizens  of  Wittemberg  re 
turned  to  their  quiet  homes. 

Gabriel  Didyinus,  an  Augusfcin  monk,  and  the  one  who-  had 
been  most  enthusiastic,  had  not  lost  a  word  spoken  by  the  Reformer- 
u  Dont  you  think  Luther  an  admirable  teacher?"  asked  a  hearer,, 
under  deep  emotion.  "Ah!"  replied  Gabriel,  u  methinks  I  hear 
the  voice  not  of  a  man,  but  an  angel."1  Shortly  after,  he  openly 
acknowledged  his  error.  "  He  is  beeome  another  man,."  said 

The  same  effect  was  not  at  first  produced  on  Caiistadt.  De 
spising  study,  and  affectedly  visiting  the  workshops  of  mechanics r 
that  he  might  there  get  a  knowledge  of  the  Scriptures,  he  felt  hurtr 
when  he  saw  his  work  crumbling  to  pieces  before  the  appearance 
of  Luther.5  In  his  eyes  this  was  equivalent  to  an  arrest  laid  on- 
the  Reformation  itself.  Accordingly  he  had  always  a  depressed  r 
gloomy,  and  discontented  look.  He,  however,  sacrificed  his  self- 
love  to  peace,  suppressed  his  vindictive  feelings,  was  reconciled, 
apparently  at  least,  with  his  colleague,  and  shortly  after  resumed 
his  course  at  the  University.4 

The  principal  prophets  happened  not  to  be  at  Writtemberg  when- 
Luther  arrived.  Nicholas  Storck  had  been  scouring  the  country, 
and  Mark  Stubner  had  quitted  the  hospitable  roof  of  Melancthou. 
It  may  be  their  prophetical  spirit  had  vanished  and  they  had 
neither  "voice"  nor  "answer"5  from  the  moment  they  learned 
that  this  new  Elias  was  bending  his  steps  towards  this  new 

1  Imo,  inquit,  angelf,  non  hommis  vocem  mihi  audisse  videor.    (Camerarius,  p.  1±) 

2  la  alium  viruin  mutatus  est.     (L.  Ep..ii,.p.  156.).  3  Ego  Carlstadium  offend), 
quod  ordinationes  suas  cessavL       (L.  Ep,  ii  p.  177.)      I  oft'ended  Carlstadt,  because  1 
put  a  stop  to  his  arrangements.                *  Philippi  et  Cavlstadii  lectiones,  ut  sunt  op- 
timse  .  .  .  (Ibid.  p.  284.)      The  lectures  of  Philip  and  Garlstadt,  as  they  are  most  fei- 
eelleiit.           5  1  Kings,  xviii,.  29_ 


Carmel.  The  old  schoolmaster  Cellarius  had  been  left  alone. 
Meanwhile,  Stubner  having  been  informed  that  the  sheep  of  his 
flock  were  dispersed,  returned  in  all  haste.  Those  who  had  re 
mained  faithful  to  the  "heavenly  prophecy"  gathered  round  their 
master,  relating  Luther's  discourses  to  him,  and  asking  with  un 
easiness  what  they  were  to  think.1  Stubner  exhorted  them  to 
remain  firm  in  their  faith.  "  Let  him  show  himself,"  exclaimed 
Cellarius,  "  let  him  grant  us  a  conference,  let  him  allow  us  to  ex 
plain  our  doctrine,  and  we  shall  see  ...  ." 

Luther  had  little  inclination  to  meet  with  these  men;  he  knew 
that  there  was  in  them  a  violent,  impatient,  haughty  spirit,  which 
could  not  endure  warnings,  however  charitably  given,  and  who 
claimed  submission  to  their  every  word  as  a  sovereign  authority.2 
Such  are  the  enthusiasts  of  all  times.  Still,  as  an  interview  was 
asked,  the  doctor  could  not  refuse  it.  Besides,  it  might  be  use 
ful  to  the  simple  ones  of  the  flock  to  unmask  the  imposture  of  the 
prophets.  The  conference  took  place.  Stubner  spoke  first,  and 
explained  how  he  proposed  to  renew  the  Church  and  change  the 
world.  Luther  listened  with  great  calmness.3  "Nothing  that 
you  have  said,"  replied  he,  at  length,  gravely,  "  rests  on  the  Holy 
Scriptures.  It  is  all  fable."  At  these  words  Cellarius  loses  all 
self-possession ;  he  raises  his  voice,  gesticulates  like  a  madman, 
stamps  and  strikes  the  table  that  was  before  him;4  gets  into  a 
passion,  and  exclaims  that  it  is  an  insult  to  presume  to  speak  thus 
to  a  man  of  God.  Then  Luther  resumes,  "  St.  Paul  declares  that 
the  proofs  of  his  apostlcship  were  manifested  by  miracles :  prove 
yours  by  miracles."  "  We  shall,"  replied  the  prophets.5  "  The 
God  whom  I  worship,"  replied  Luther,  "  will  keep  a  bridle  hand 
on  your  gods."  Stubner,  who  had  remained  more  calm,  fixing  his 
eyes  on  the  Reformer,  said  to  him  with  an  air  of  inspiration, 
u  Martin  Luther,  I  am  going  to  declare  to  yon  what  is  now  passing 
in  your  soul.  Yon  are  beginning  to  think  that  my  doctrine  is 
true."  Luther,  after  a  few  moments'  silence,  replied.  "The 
Ix»rd  rebuke  thee,  Satan."  At  these  words  all  the  prophets  are 
transported.  "The  Spirit!  the  Spirit!"  they  exclaim.  Luther, 
with  that  cool  disdain,  and  that  cutting,  yet  familiar  language, 
which  was  one  of  his  characteristics,  says,  "  I  care  not  a  fig  for 
your  spirit'"1 6  The  clamour  is  redoubled.  Cellarius  was  especially 

1  Rursum   ad  ipsum  confluere    .    .    .     (Cainerar.  p.  52.)    Again  flocked  to  him. 

2  Vehementer  superbus  et    inipatiens     •    .    .    .    credi  vult  plena  auctoritate,  ad 
primam  vocem    .     .    .     (L.  Epp.  ii,  p.  179.)    Excessively  proud  and  impatient  .    .    . 
he  insists  on  bei?i^  believed  implicitly  on  his  first  word.  s  Audivit  Lutlierus 
placide.    (Gamer,  p.  52.)               *  Cum  et  solum  pedibus  et  propositam  mensulam 
manibus  feriret.    (Ibid.)    Both  struck  the  ground  with  his  feet,  and  the  little  table 
before  him  with   his  hands.               6  Quid  pollicentes  de  mirabilibus  affectionibus. 
(Tbid.  p.  5o.)    Making  some  promise  of  miraculous  affections.  6  Ihren  Gei&t 
*i«ue  er  iiber  die  Schnauze.    (L.  Opp.  Aheuburg  Augs.  iii,  p.  137.) 


violent.  He  raged,  roared,  and  foamed.1  Not  a  word  more  could 
he  heard.  At  length  the  prophets  withdrew,  and  the  same  day 
quitted  Wittemberg. 

Thus  Luther  had  accomplished  the  work  for  which  he  had  left 
his  retreat.  He  had  withstood  fanaticism,  and  chased  from  the 
bosom  of  the  renovated  church  the  enthusiasm  and  disorder  which 
were  trying  to  invade  it.  Jf  with  one  hand  the  Reformation  over 
threw  the  musty  decretals  of  Home,  with  the  other  it  repelled  the 
pretensions  of  the  mystics,  and  secured  the  living  and  immutable 
Word  of  God  in  possession  of  the  territory  which  it  had  conquered. 
The  character  of  the  Reformation  was  thus  well  established.  It  be 
hoved  constantly  to  move  between  these  two  extremes,  equally 
distant  from  the  convulsive  throes  of  fanatics  and  the  lifeless  state 
of  the  papacy. 

A  population  aroused,  misled,  and  broken  loose  from  all  re 
straint,  is  appeased,  becomes  calm  and  submissive,  and  the  most 
perfect  tranquillity  is  restored  to  a  city  which,  a  few  days  before, 
was  like  a  raging  sea. 

Complete  liberty  was  moreover  established  at  Wittemberg. 
Luther  continued  to  reside  in  the  convent,  and  to  wear  the  mon 
astic  dress;  but  every  one  was  free  to  do  otherwise.  Communicants, 
in  taking  the  supper,  might  content  themselves  with  a  general,  or 
ask  a  particular  absolution.  One  established  principle  was  to 
reject  nothing  but  what  was  opposed  to  a  clear  and  formal  declara 
tion  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.2  This  was  not  indifference.  On  the 
contrary,  religion  was  thus  brought  back  to  what  constitutes  its 
essence.  Religious  sentiment  was  drawn  away  from  accessory  forms 
when  it  had  been  well  nigh  lost,  and  again  placed  on  its  true  basis. 
Thus  the  Reformation  was  saved,  and  doctrine  could  continue 
to  be  developed  in  the  Church  in  accordance  with  charity  and 


Translation  of  the  New  Testament— Faith  and  Scripture — Opposition— Importance 
of  Luther's  Publication — Need  of  a  Systematic  Exposition — Ifelancthon'a  Common 
Places — Original  Sin — Salvation — Free-will — Effect  of  the  Common  places. 

No  sooner  was  the  calm  re-established  than  the  Reformer 
turned  towards  his  dear  Melancthon,  and  asks  his  assistance  in 
putting  the  finishing  hand  to  the  version  of  the  New  Testament, 

1  Spumabat  et  fremebat  et  furebat.    (L.  Epp.  ii,  p.  179.)  ~  Ganz  klarc  un  I 

griiadliche  SchriJ't. 



which  he  had  brought  from  the  Wartburg.1  Melancthou,  as  early 
as  1519,  had  laid  down  the  grand  principle,  that  the  fathers  ought 
to  be  explained  according  to  Scripture,  and  not  Scripture  accord 
ing  to  the  fathers.  Continuing  thoroughly  to  investigate  the 
writings  of  the  New  Testament,  he  felt  at  once  enraptured  with 
their  simplicity,  and  struck  with  their  profundity.  "  Here  only," 
was  the  open  declaration  of  one  so  familiar  with  all  the  philosophers 
of  antiquity — "Here  only  is  found  the  true  food^of  the  soul." 
Hence  he  gladly  responded  to  Luther's  invitation,  and  thereafter 
the  two  friends  spent  many  long  hours  together,  in  studying  and 
translating  the  inspired  Word.  Often  did  they  interrupt  then- 
laborious  researches  to  give  vent  to  their  admiration.  u  Reason 
thinks,"  said  Luther,  "  Oh,  if  I  could  only  once  hear  God;  to  hear 
Him  I  would  run  to  the  end  of  the  world  ....  Listen,  then, 
O  man,  my  brother!  ....  God,  the  creator  of  heaven  and 
earth  is  speaking  to  you.  .  .  ." 

The  printing  of  the  New  Testament  was  begun  and  earned  on 
with  unexampled  zeal.2  It  seemed  as  if  the  workmen  themselves 
felt  the  importance  of  the  work  which  they  were  preparing.  Three 
presses  were  employed,  and  ten  thousand  sheets  were  printed  daily.3 

At  length,  on  the  21st  September,  appeared  the  complete  edition 
of  three  thousand  copies,  in  two  volumes,  folio,  with  this  simple 
title:  The  New  Testament — German — Wittemberg.  It  bore  no 
human  name.  Every  German  could  thenceforth  procure  the  Word 
of  God  for  a  moderate  sum.4 

The  new  translation,  written  in  the  very  spirit  of  the  sacred 
books,  in  a  language  still  recent,  and  displaying  its  many  beauties 
for  the  first  time,  seized,  enraptured,  and  deeply  impressed  the 
humblest  of  the  people,  as  well  as  the  most  elevated  classes.  It 
was  a  national  work ;  it  was  the  people's  book :  it  was  more,  it  was 
truly  the  book  of  God.  Even  enemies  could  not  withhold  their 
approbation  of  this  admirable  work,  while  some  indiscreet  friends  of 
the  Reformation,  struck  with  the  beauty  of  the  work,  imagined  that 
they  beheld  in  it  a  second  inspiration.  This  translation  did  more 
to  propagate  Christian  piety  than  all  the  other  writings  of  Luther. 
The  work  of  the  sixteenth  century  was  thus  placed  on  a  basis 
which  could  not  be  shaken.  The  Bible  given  to  the  people  brought 
back  the  human  mind  which  for  ages  had  been  wandering  in  the 
tortuous  labyrinth  of  scholastics,  to  the  divine  source  of  salvation. 
Accordingly  the  success  of  the  work  was  prodigious.  In  a  short 

1  Verum  omnia  nunc  elimare  coepinms  Philippus  et  ego.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  17C.)  I5nt 
Philip  ami  I  now  began  to  revise  the  whole.  a  Ingenti  labor*  ct  studio.  (Ibid., 

p.  W<>.)     With  immense  labour  and  study.  a  Singulis  diebus  decies  milli-i 

chartarutn  sub  tribus  prclis.    (Ibid.)  *  A  florin  aud  a  half,  about  half-a- 

t:nm'u  sterling. 


time  all  the  copies  were  disposed  of.  A  second  edition  appeared  in 
December,  and,  in  1533,  seventeen  editions  of  Luther's  New  Tes 
tament  had  been  printed  at  Wittemberg ;  thirteen  at  Augsburg ; 
twelve  at  Bale  ;  one  at  Erfurth  ;  one  at  Grimma  ;  one  at  Leipsic ; 
thirteen  at  Strasburg.1  ....  Such  were  the  mighty  engines  which 
lifted  and  transformed  the  Church  and  the  world. 

The  first  edition  of  the  New  Testament  was  still  at  press  when 
Luther  engaged  in  the  translation  of  the  Old  Testament.  This 
work,  begun  in  1522,  was  prosecuted  without  interruption.  It  was 
published  in  parts  as  it  was  finished,  in  order  more  rapidly  to 
satisfy  the  impatience  which  was  manifested  in  all  quarters,  and 
make  it  more  easy  for  the  poor  to  purchase  it. 

From  Scripture  and  faith,  two  sources,  which,  in  substance,  are 
only  one,  evangelical  life  flowed,  and  is  still  diffused  in  the  world. 
These  two  principles  combated  two  fundamental  errors;  faith 
was  opposed  to  the  Pelagian  tendency  of  Catholicism  ;  Scripture, 
to  the  tradition  and  authority  of  Rome.  Scripture  led  to  faith  and 
faith  led  back  to  Scripture.  "Man  cannot  do  any  meritorious 
work  :  the  free  grace  of  God,  which  he  receives  by  faith  in  Christ 
alone  saves  him."  Such  was  the  doctrine  proclaimed  in  Christen 
dom  ;  and  the  tendency  of  this  doctrine  was  to  urge  Christians  to 
the  study  of  Scripture.  In  fact,  if  faith  in  Christ  is  every  thing  in 
Christianity — if  the  practices  and  ordinances  of  the  Church  are 
nothing — what  we  ought  to  adhere  to  is  not  the  word  of  the  Church 
but  the  word  of  Jesus  Christ.  The  tie  which  unites  to  Christ  will 
become  all  in  all  to  the  believer.  What  cares  he  for  the  external 
tie  which  unites  him  to  an  external  Church  enslaved  to  human 
opinions  ?  .  .  .  .  Thus,  as  the  doctrine  of  the  Bible  had  urged 
Luther's  contemporaries  towards  Jesus  Christ,-  so  the  love  which 
they  had  for  Jesus  Christ  in  its  turn  urged  them  towards  the 
Bible.  They  returned  to  Scripture,  not  as  is  imagined  in  our 
day,  from  a  philosophical  principle,  from  a  feeling  of  doubt  or  a 
longing  for  investigation,  but  because  they  found  in  it  the  word 
of  Him  whom  they  loved.  "  You  have  preached  Christ  to  us," 
said  they  to  the  Reformer,  "enable  us  now  to  hear  his  own  voice." 
And  they  eagerly  laid  hold  of  the  sheets  which  were  delivered  to 
them  as  they  would  a  letter  come  from  heaven. 

But  if  the  Bible  was  thus  joyfully  received  by  those  who  loved 
Christ,  it  was  repulsed  with  hatred  by  those  who  preferred  the 
traditions  and  practices  of  men.  Violent  persecution  awaited  this 
work  of  the  Reformer.  On  hearing  of  Luther's  publication,  Rome 
trembled.  The  pen  which  transcribed  the  sacred  oracles  was  the 
realisation  of  that  which  the  Elector  Frederick  had  seen  in  his 

1  Gesch.  d.  deutsch.  Jiibel  Uebersetz. 


dream,  and  which,  reaching  as  far  as  the  seven  hills,  had  caused  the 
tiara  of  the  papacy  to  totter.  The  monk  in  his  cell  and  the  prince 
on  his  throne  sent  forth  a  cry  of  rage.  Ignorant  priests  shuddered 
at  the  thought  that  every  citizen,  every  peasant  even,  would  now 
be  in  a  condition  to  debate  with  them  on  sacred  subjects.  The 
King  of  England  denounced  the  work  to  the  Elector  Frederick,  and 
Duke  George  of  Saxony.  But,  previous  to  this,  as  early  as  No 
vember,  the  duke  had  enjoined  all  his  subjects  to  deliver  every 
copy  of  Luther's  New  Testament  into  the  hands  of  the  magistrates. 
Bavaria,  Brandenburg,  Austria,  all  the  states  devoted  to  Home, 
issued  similar  decrees.  In  some  towns  a  sacrilegious  pile  was 
erected,  and  the  books  were  burnt  in  the  market-place.1  Thus,  in 
the  sixteenth  century,  Rome  renewed  the  attempts  by  which 
Paganism  had  tried  to  destroy  the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ  at  the 
moment  when  the  empire  was  escaping  from  priests  and  their  idols. 
But  who  can  arrest  the  triumphant  progress  of  the  gospel?  "Even 
since  my  prohibition,"  wrote  Duke  George,  "several  thousand 
copies  have  been  sold  and  read  in  my  States." 

God,  in  diffusing  his  Word,  made  use  of  the  very  hands  which 
were  endeavouring  to  destroy  it.  The  Catholic  theologians,  seeing 
it  impossible  to  suppress  the  Reformer's  work,  published  the  New 
Testament  in  a  translation  of  their  own.  It  was  Luther's  transla 
tion,  with  occasional  corrections  by  the  editors.  No  objection  was 
made  to  the  reading  of  it.  Rome  knew  not  as  yet  that,  wherever 
the  Word  of  God  is  established,  her  power  is  in  danger.  Joachim 
of  Brandenburg  gave  full  permission  to  his  subjects  to  read  any 
translation  of  the  Bible,  Latin  or  German,  provided  it  came  not 
from  Wittemberg.  The  inhabitants  of  Germany,  those  of  Branden 
burg  in  particular,  thus  made  a  rapid  advance  in  the  knowledge  of 
the  truth. 

The  publication  of  the  New  Testament  constitutes  an  important 
epoch  in  the  Reformation.  If  the  marriage  of  Feldkirchen  was  the 
first  step  in  passing  from  doctrine  to  practice,  if  the  abolition  of 
monastic  vows  was  the  second,  if  the  establishment  of  the  Lord's 
Supper  was  the  third,  the  publication  of  the  New  Testament  was 
perhaps  the  most  important  of  all.  It  effected  a  complete  change 
in  society — not  only  in  the  presbytery  of  the  priest,  the  cell  of  the 
monk,  and  the  service  of  the  Church,  "but  also  in  the  mansions  of 
the  great,  and  the  dwellings  both  of  the  citizens  in  towns,  and  of 
the  rural  population.  When  the  Bible  began  to  be  read  in  the 
households  of  Christendom,  Christendom  was  changed.  There 
were  thenceforth  new  customs,  new  manners,  new  conversations,  a 
new  life.  With  the  publication  of  the  New  Testament  the  Re- 

1  Qui  et  alicubi  in  tmum  eongesti  rogum  publicum  combust!  sunt. 


formation  came  forth  from  the  school  and  the  Church,  and  took 
possession  of  the  firesides  of  the  people. 

The  effect  produced  was  immense.  The  Christianity  of  the 
primitive  Church,  brought  forth  by  the  publication  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures  from  the  oblivion  into  which  it  had  fallen  for  ages,  was 
thus  presented  to  the  eyes  of  the  nation,  and  this  fact  is  sufficient 
to  justify  the  attacks  which  had  been  made  upon  Rome.  The 
humblest  individuals,  provided  they  knew  the  German  alphabet, 
women,  and  mechanics,  (this  is  the  account  given  by  a  contemporary, 
a  great  enemy  of  the  Reformation,)  read  the  New  Testament  with 
avidity.1  Carrying  it  about  with  them,  they  soon  knew  it  by 
heart,  while  its  pages  gave  full  demonstration  of  the  perfect 
accordance  between  the  Reformation  of  Luther  and  the  Revelation 
of  God. 

Still  it  was  only  by  piecemeal  that  the  doctrine  of  the  Bible  and 
of  the  Reformation  had  till  then  been  established.  Some  one 
truth  had  been  established  in  this  writing,  and  some  one  error 
attacked  in  that.  The  remains  of  the  ancient  edifice  and  the  ma 
terials  of  the  new  lay  scattered  in  confusion  over  a  large  space  of 
ground ;  but  the  new  edifice  itself  was  still  wanting.  The  publication 
of  the  New  Testament  was  fitted  to  supply  this  want.  The  Re 
formation,  on  receiving  this  work,  could  say, — There  is  my  system! 
But  as  every  person  is  ready  to  maintain  that  the  system  he  holds 
is  that  of  the  Bible,  the  Reformation  behoved  to  give  a  systematic 
form  to  what  she  had  found  in  Scripture  :  This  Melancthon  did  in 
her  name. 

He  had  advanced  with  cautious  but  sure  steps  in  his  theological 
career,  and  had  always  boldly  published  the  results  of  his  enquiries. 
So  early  as  1520,  he  had  declared  that  in  several  of  the  seven 
sacraments  he  saw  only  an  imitation  of  Jewish  ceremonies  ;  and, 
in  the  infallibility  of  the  pope,  only  an  arrogant  pretence,  equally  at 
variance  with  Scripture  and  common  sense.  "  To  combat  these 
dogmas,"  said  he,  "  we  have  need  of  more  than  one  Hercules." 2 
Thus  Melancthon  had  arrived  at  the  same  point  with  Luther, 
though  by  a  calmer  and  more  scientific  path.  The  moment  had 
arrived  when  it  behoved  him  in  his  turn  to  make  a  confession  of  his 

In  1521,  during  Luther's  captivity,  his  celebrated  work  '•On 
the  Common  Places  of  Theology,'  had  presented  Christian  Europe 
with  a  body  of  doctrine  solidly  based,  and  admirably  proportioned. 
A  simple  and  majestic  system  was  exhibited  to  the  astonished  view 

1  lit  sutores,  mulieres,  et  quilihet  idiotse  .  .  .  avidissime  legerent.    (Cochlseus,  p.  50.) 
So  that  shoe-makers,  women,  and  the  most  illiterate  read  with  the  greatest  avidity. 

2  Ad  versus  quas  non  uno  nobis,  ut  ita  dicam,  Hercule  opus  est.   (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  137.) 


of  the  new  generation.  The  translation  of  the  New  Testament 
vindicated  the  Reformation  to  the  common  people :  the  Common 
Places  of  Melancthon  vindicated  it  to  the  learned. 

The  Christian  Church  was  fifteen  centuries  old,  and  no  similar 
work  had  yet  appeared.  Abandoning  the  ordinary  methods  of 
scholastic  theology,  Luther's  friend  at  length  presented  Christen 
dom  with  a  theological  system  derived  solely  from  Scripture,  and 
exhibiting  a  spirit  of  life  and  intellect,  a  force  of  trutfr.and  simplicity 
of  expression  in  striking  contrast  with  the  subtle  and  pedantic 
systems  of  the  schools.  The  most  philosophical  minds  and  the 
strictest  theologians  alike  agreed  in  admiring  it. 

Erasmus  described  the  work  as  a  host  set  in  admirable  array 
against  the  pharisaical  tyranny  of  false  teachers  ;*  and,  while  de 
claring  that  he  did  not  agree  with  the  author  on  all  points,  he 
added,  that,  though  he  had  always  loved  him,  he  never  loved  him 
so  much  as  after  reading  this  work.  "  So  true  is  it,"  says  CalvinT 
at  a  later  period,  in  introducing  the  work  to  France,  "that,  in 
treating  Christian  doctrine,  the  greatest  simplicity  is  the  greatest 
virtue."  2 

But  none  was  so  much  overjoyed  as  Luther.  This  work  was, 
through  life,  the  object  of  his  admiration.  Those  isolated  sounds 
which,  in  the  deep  emotion  of  his  soul,  his  quivering  hand  had  drawn 
from  the  harp  of  the  prophets  and  apostles,  were  here  arranged  in 
enrapturing  harmony.  Those  scattered  stones,  which  he  had  labori 
ously  quarried  out  of  the  Sacred  volume,  were  now  formed  into 
a  majestic  building.  Hence  he  invariably  recommended  the 
reading  of  this  work  to  the  youths  who  came  to  prosecute  their 
studies  at  Wittemberg,  saying  to  them,  "  If  you  wuuld  be  theolo 
gians,  read  Melancthon."  3 

According  to  Melancthon,  a  deep  conviction  of  the  misery  to 
which  man  has  been  reduced  by  sin,  is  the  basis  on  which  the 
structure  of  Christian  theology  must  be  reared.  This  incalcul 
able  calamity  is  the  primary  fact,  the  generating  idea  in  theological 
science,  the  characteristic  which  distinguishes  it  from  all  sciences 
which  have  reason  only  for  their  instrument. 

The  Christian  theologian,  probing  to  the  very  bottom  of  man's 
heart,  explained  its  laws  and  mysterious  attractions,  as  the  philoso 
pher  of  a  later  period  explained  the  laws  and  attractions  of  bodies, 
"  Original  sin."  said  he,  "  is  an  inclination  born  with  usr  a  kind  of 

1  Tideo  dogmatum  aciem  pulchre  instructam  adversus  tyrannide?n  pharisaicam. 
(Er.  Ep.  p.  949.)  I  see  aji  array  of  doctrine  admirably  drawn  up  against  pharisaical 
tyranny.  2  La  Somme  de  Theologie,  par  Philippe  Melnncthon.  (Geneve, 

1521.    Jehan  Calvin  aux  lecteurs.)  3  He  elsewhere  terms  it  '•  Librum  invictuni 

non  solum  immortalitate  sod  et  canone  ecclesiastico  dignurn."     (De  servo  arbitrio.) 
An  unanswerable  work ;  worthy  not  only  of  immortality,  but  of  the  Sacred  canon. 
X  D 


impulse  which  is  pleasing  to  us,  a  kind  of  force  which  draws  us  iuto 
sin,  and  which  has  been  transmitted  by  Adam  to  all  his  posterity. 
As  there  is  in  fire  a  native  force  which  carries  it  upward,  as  there 
is  in  the  magnet  a  natural  power  to  attract  steel,  so  there  is  in 
man  a  primary  force  disposing  him  to  evil.  I  acknowledge  that 
Socrates,  Xenocrates,  and  Zeno,  displayed  constancy,  temperance 
and  chastity :  these  shadows  of  virtue  existed  in  impure  minds,' 
they  proceeded  from  the  love  of  self,  and  hence  they  must  be 
regarded  not  as  genuine  virtues,  but  as  vices." 1  These  words  may 
seem  harsh ;  but  they  are  so  only  when  we  misapprehend  Melanc- 
thon's  meaning.  None  was  more  disposed  than  he  to  recognise  in 
the  heathen  virtues  deserving  of  human  esteem ;  but  he  laid  down 
this  great  truth,  that  the  sovereign  law  given  by  God  to  all  his 
creatures  is,  to  love  him  above  all  things.  Now  if  man,  in  doing 
what  God  commands,  does  it,  not  from  love  to  God,  but  from  love 
to  self,  will  God  approve  of  his  presuming  to  prefer  himself  to  his 
infinite  majesty,  and  will  there  be  nothing  vicious  in  an  act  con 
taining  indirect  rebellion  against  his  supremacy  ? 

The  theologian  of  Wittemberg  afterwards  shows  how  man  is 
saved  from  this  wretchedness.  "  The  apos*le,"  says  he,  "  calls 
you  to  contemplate  the  Son  of  God  on  the  right  hand  of  his  Father, 
as  a  powerful  Mediator  who  intercedes  for  us ;  and  he  asks  you  to 
be  assured  that  your  sins  are  forgiven,  and  that  you  are  accounted 
righteous,  and  received  by  the  Father  for  the  sake  of  his  Son, 
offered  as  a  victim  on  the  cross.*'2 

What  makes  this  first  edition  of  the  Common  Places  particularly 
remarkable,  is  the  manner  in  which  the  theologian  of  Germany 
speaks  of  free  will.  He  perceives,  perhaps,  still  more  clearly  than 
Luther  had  done,  being  more  of  a  theologian  than  he,  that  this 
doctrine  could  not  be  separated  from  that  which  constituted  the 
essence  of  the  Eeformation.  The  justification  of  man,  before  God, 
proceeds  only  from  faith :  this  is  the  first  point.  This  faith  is 
produced  in  man's  heart  only  by  the  grace  of  God :  this  is  the 
second  point.  Melancthon  is  well  aware  that,  by  conceding  to 
man  any  natural  ability  to  believe,  the  great  doctrine  of  grace  es 
tablished  in  the  first  point,  will  be  destroyed  hi  the  second.  He 
had  too  much  discrimination  and  knowledge  of  the  Scriptures  to 
be  mistaken  in  so  weighty  a  matter.  But  he  went  too  far.  In 
stead  of  confining  himself  within  the  limits  of  the  religious  question, 
he  takes  up  the  metaphysical  question,  maintaining  a  fatalism , 

1  Loci  communes  theologici.  Basil,  1521,  p.  35.  This  edition  is  very  rare.  For  the 
latter  revisions,  see  the  edition  otErlangen,  1528,  formed  in  that  of  Bale,  15(51. 

3  Vult  te  intueri  Filium  Dei  sedentem  ad  dextram  Patris,  mediatorem  intprpellan- 
tem,  pro  nobis,  (Ibid.)  He  wishes  them  to  contemplate  the  Son  of  God  sitting  on 
ilie  right  hand  ol'  the  Father,  as  a  Mediator  interceding  for  us. 


which  might  cause  God  to  be  regarded  as  the  author  of  evil,  and 
winch,  consequently,  has  no  foundation  in  Scripture.  "All  that 
happens,"  said  he,  "happening  necessarily  according  to  divine 
predestination,  it  is  evident  that  our  will  has  no  liberty."  x 

But  the  object  which  Melancthon  had  especially  in  view,  was  to 
present  theology  as  a  system  of  godliness.  The  schoolmen  had 
frittered  doctrine  away  until  they  deprived  it  of  life.  The  lie- 
former's  task,  therefore,  was  to  bring  it  back  to  life.  In  subse 
quent  editions,  Melaucthon  saw  the  necessity  of  giving  a  clear 
exposition  of  doctrine.2  But  the  case  was  somewhat  different  in 
1521.  "To  know  Christ,"  said  he,  "is  to  know  his  benefits. 
Paul,  in  his  Epistle  to  the  Komans,  when  wishing  to  give  a  sum 
mary  of  Christian  doctrine,  does  not  philosophise  on  <the  mystery 
of  the  Trinity,  on  the  mode  of  the  incarnation,  on  creation,  action, 
and  passion,  etc.  Of  what,  then,  does  he  speak  ?  Of  the  law — 
of  sin — of  grace.  On  these  the  knowledge  of  Christ  depends."  3 

The  publication  of  this  system  of  doctrine  was  of  inestimable 
service  to  the  cause  of  the  gospel.  Calumny  was  refuted,  and  pre 
judice  subdued.  In  churches,  courts,  and  universities,  Melancthou 
was  admired  for  his  genius,  and  loved  for  the  beauties  of  his  cha 
racter.  Even  those  who  did  not  know  the  author  were  won  to 
his  creed  by  his  work.  Several  had  been  repulsed  by  the  harsh 
ness  and  occasional  violence  of  Luther's  language ;  but  here  was  a 
man  who,  with  great  elegance  of  style,  exquisite  taste,  admirable 
clearness,  and  the  most  exact  method,  expounded  the  powerful 
truths  ".vliich  had  suddenly  burst  forth  and  shaken  the  world. 
The  work  was  in  general  request,  was  read  with  avidity,  and  studied 
with  ardour.  So  much  meekness  and  modesty  won  all  hearts. 
So  much  nobleness  and  force  subdued  them ;  while  the  upper 
classes  of  society,  till  then  undecided,  were  gained  by  a  wisdom 
which  expressed  itself  in  such  beautiful  language. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  enemies  of  the  truth,  whom  Luther's 
formidable  blows  had  not  struck  down,  remained  for  some  time 
mute  and  disconcerted  after  the  appearance  of  Melancthon's 
Treatise.  It  told  them  that  there  was  another  man  as  worthy  oi 
their  hatred  as  Luther.  uAlas!"  they  exclaimed,  "unhappy 
Germany!  to  what  extremities  must  this  new  birth  reduce 

From  1521  to  1595,  seventy-seven  editions  of  the    Common 

1  Quando  quidem  omnia  quae  eveniunt,  necessario  eveniunt  juxta  divinam  prsedestr 
naiionem,  nulla  est  voluntatis  nostrte  libertas.  (Loci  coinm.  theol.  B;ile,  1521,  p.  35.j 
"  See  in  the  edition  of  1561,  reprinted  in  1829,  pages  14  to  44,  the  chapters  entitled  : — 
De  tribus  personis  ; — De  divinitate  Filii : — De  duabus  naturis  in  Chris  to  ; — Testi- 
monia  quod  Films  sit  persona; — Testinionia  ref'utantia  Arianos  ; — De  discerneiulis 
propri<:ta;ibu4  lminan;i>  (it  divinse  nature  Christi  -. — De  Spiritu  sancto,  etc.  eco. 

3  Hue:  est  Christum  cognoscere.benefieia  «>arnoscere,  etc.     (Ibid.)  *  Heu! 

Ljfelicein  h"f  uovo  partu  GrermauiamJ    •    .     .     Cochl.) 

3  f 


Places  appeared,  without  counting  translations.  After  the  Bible, 
it  is,  perhaps,  the  book  which  contributed  most  powerfully  to  tiie 
establishment  of  evangelical  doctrine. 


Opposition— Henry  VIII.— Wolsey— The  Queen— Fisher— Thomas  More— Luth«;r*g 
Books  burnt— Henry  attacks  Luther — Presentation  to  the  Pope — Effect  on  Luther 
—Force  and  violence — His  book — Reply  of  the  Bishop  of  Rochester — Reply  by 
More— Step  by  the  King. 

While  the  "  grammarian,"  Melancthon,  was  by  his  mild  accents 
giving  such  effectual  aid  to  Luther,  men  in  power,  hostile  to 
the  Reformer,  were  turning  with  violence  against  him.  Escaped 
from  the  Wartburg,  he  had  again  appeared  on  the  stage  of  the 
world,  and  at  the  news  his  old  enemies  had  resumed  all  their  rage. 

Luther  had  been  three  months  and  a  half  at  Wittemberg,  when 
rumour,  with  all  its  exaggerations,  brought  him  the  news  that  one 
of  the  greatest  kings  of  Christendom  had  risen  up  against  him. 
The  head  of  the  house  of  the  Tudors,  a  prince,  uniting  in  his  person 
the  houses  both  of  York  and  Lancaster,  and  on  whose  head,  after 
torrents  of  blood  had  been  shed,  the  red  rose  and  the  white  rose 
were  at  length  combined, — Henry  VIII,  the  powerful  king  of  Eng 
land,  who  aspired  to  re-establish  the  ancient  influence  of  his 
crown  on  the  continent,  and  especially  in  France,  had  just  com 
posed  a  book  against  the  poor  monk  of  Wittemberg.  In  a  letter 
to  Lange,  26th  June,  1522,  Luther  writes,  "  A  great  boast  is  made 
of  a  little  book  by  the  king  of  England."  L 

Henry  VIII  was  then  thirty-one  years  of  age:  "he  was  tall, 
strong-built,  and  proportioned,  and  had  an  air  of  authority  and 
empire ;"  2  his  features  expressing  the  vigour  of  his  intellect.  Of  a 
vehement  temper,  determined  to  make  every  thing  bend  to  the 
violence  of  his  passions,  and  thirsting  for  glory,  he  at  first  con 
cealed  his  faults  under  a  kind  of  boisterousness  common  to  youth, 
and  was  surrounded  by  flatterers  who  encouraged  them.  He 
often  repaired  with  his  band  of  favourites  to  the  house  of  his 
chaplain,  Thomas  Wolsey,  son  of  a  butcher  of  Ipswich.  This  man, 
gifted  with  great  abilities,  of  an  excessive  ambition,  and  an  arro- 

*  Jactant  libellum  regis  Anglise  ;  sed  leum  ilium  su^picor  sub  pelle  tectum.  (I*. 
Ep.  ii,  p.  213.)  Tliey  boast  of  a  little  book  by  the  king  of  England,  but  I  suspect  a 
lion  (play  upon  the  name  Lee,  Henry's  chaplain)  hid  under  his  skin.  a  (joiik-r  * 

Bccl.  Hist,  of  Great  Britain,  fol.  ii,  p.  1. 

\VOLSEY.     THE  QUEEN.  77 

gance  which  knew  no  bounds,  being  patronised  by  the  bishop  of 
Winchester,  chancellor  of  the  kingdom,  had  rapidly  advanced  in  the 
favour  of  his  master,  whom  he  attracted  to  his  house  by  the  seduc 
tion  of  pleasures  and  irregularities,  in  which  the  young  prince 
would  not  have  ventured  to  indulge  in  his  own  palace.  Such  is 
the  account  given  by  Poly  do  re  Virgil,  at  that  time  the  pope's 
sub-collector  in  England.1  At  these  licentious  meetings  the  chap 
lain  outstripped  the  young  courtiers  who  accompanied  Henry 
VIII.  He  was  seen  forgetting  the  gravity  of  a  minister  of  the 
altar,  singing,  dancing,  laughing,  frolicking,  using  obscene  language, 
and  fencing.2  In  this  way  he  soon  obtained  the  first  place  in  the 
king's  council,  and  governing  the  kingdom  with  absolute  sway, 
was  courted  by  all  the  princes  of  Christendom. 

Henry,  living  in  a  round  of  balls,  festivities,  and  jousts,  foolishly 
squandered  the  treasures  which  had  been  slowly  amassed  by  the 
avarice  of  his  father.  Magnificent  tournaments  succeeded  each 
other  without  interruption.  The  king,  who,  in  manly  beauty, 
surpassed  all  the  combatants, 3  invariably  took  the  lead.  If,  for 
an  instant,  the  contest  appeared  doubtful,  the  dexterity  ami 
strength  of  the  prince,  or  the  adroit  policy  of  those  opposed  to 
him,  assured  him  the  victory,  and  the  arena  resounded  with 
shouts  of  applause.  The  vanity  of  the  young  prince  was  inflated 
by  these  easy  triumphs ;  and  there  was  no  species  of  success  to 
which  he  did  not  think  himself  entitled  to  aspire.  The  queen  was 
occasionally  present  among  the  spectators.  Her  grave  figure,  her 
downcast  look,  her  sedate  and  melancholy  air,  contrasted  with  the 
boisterous  sounds  of  these  festivities.  Henry  VIII,  shortly  after 
his  accession  to  the  throne,  had,  for  reasons  of  state,  married 
Catherine  of  Arragon,  who  was  five  years  older  than  himself,  the 
widow  of  his  brother,  Arthur,  and  aunt  to  Charles  V.  While  her 
husband  was  giving  himself  up  to  pleasure,  the  virtuous  Catherine, 
with  a  piety  truly  Spanish,  rose  at  midnight  to  take  silent  part  in 
the  prayers  of  the  monks.4  She  threw  herself  upon  her  knees, 
without  cushion  or  carpet.  At  five  o'clock  in  the  morning,  after 
a  short  repose,  she  was  again  up :  she  was  clad  in  the  habit  of  St. 

1  Domi  suse  voluptatum  omnium  sjicrarium  fecit,  quo  regem  frequenter  ducebat 
(Polyd.  Virgilius,  Angl.  Hist.  Bale.  1570,  fol.  p.  635.)  He  made  his  house  the  abode 
of  voluptuousness,  and  often  led  the  king  thither,  Polydore  Virgil  had  apparently 
suffered  from  Wolsey's  pride,  and  been  hence  disposed  to  exaggerate  the  misdeeds  of 
this  minister.  2  Cum  illis  adolescentibus  una  psallebat,  saltabat,  sermones  le- 

poris  plenos  habebat,  ridebat,  jocaba'tur.    (Ibid.)  3  Eximia  corporis  forma 

praeditus,  in  qua  etiam  regise  majestatis  augusta  quaedam  species  elucebat.  (San- 
derus  de  Schisinate  Anglioano,  p.  4.)  The  work  of  Sanders,  papal  nuncio  in  Ireland, 
must  De  read  with  caution  ;  for  false  and  calumnious  assertions  are  not  wanting  in  it, 
as  has  been  observed,  even  by  Cardinal  Quirini  and  the  Roman  Catholic  Dr.  Lingard, 
(See  Hist,  of  England,  by  latter,  t.  vL,  p.  173.)  *  Surgebat  media  nocte  ut  noc- 

turnis  religiosorum  prccibus  interesset.    (Sander,  p.  5.) 


Francis,  for  she  had  entered  the  tertiary  order  of  this  saint ;  then, 
hastily  covering  it  with  royal  vestments, l  she  repaired  to  the 
church  at  six,  to  the  holy  offices. 

Two  beings,  living  in  two  such  different  worlds,  could  not  re 
main  long  united. 

Eomish  piety,  however,  had  other  representatives  besides 
Catherine,  at  the  court  of  Henry  VIII.  John  Fisher,  Bishop  of 
Rochester,  on  the  borders  of  seventy,  equally  distinguished  by  his 
learning  and  the  purity  of  his  morals,  was  the  object  of  general 
veneration.  He  had  been  the  oldest  counsellor  of  Henry  VII, 
and  the  Duchess  of  Richmond,  the  grandmother  of  Henry  VIII, 
when  on  her  death-bed,  had  sent  for  Fisher  and  recommended  to 
his  care  the  youth  and  inexperience  of  her  grandson.  Amidst  his 
irregularities  the  king  long  venerated  the  bishop  as  a  father. 

A  man  much  younger  than  Fisher,  a  layman  and  lawyer,  had 
begun  to  attract  general  attention  by  his  genius  and  the  nobleness 
of  his  character.  He  was  named  Thomas  More,  and  was  the  son 
of  a  judge  of  the  King's  Bench.  Poor,  austere,  indefatigable  in 
exertion,  he  had  endeavoured  at  twenty  to  extinguish  the  passions 
of  youth,  by  wearing  a  hair  shirt  and  subjecting  himself  to  disci 
pline.  One  day,  when  attending  mass,  being  sent  for  by  the  king, 
he  replied,  that  the  service  of  God  must  take  precedence  of  that  of 
his  majesty.  Wolsey  brought  him  under  the  notice  of  Henry  VIII, 
who  employed  him  on  ditferent  embassies,  and  vowed  to  have  a 
jrreat  affection  for  him.  He  often  sent  for  him  and  conversed  with 
him  about  the  planets,  Wolsey,  and  theology. 

In  fact,  the  king  himself  was  no  stranger  to  the  Romish  doc 
trines.  It  would  even  appear  that,  if  Arthur  had  lived,  Henry 
would  have  been  destined  to  the  archiepiscopal  see  of  Canterbury. 
Thomas  Aquinas,  St.  Bonaventura  ;2  tournays,  festivals;  Elizabeth 
Blunt,  and  other  mistresses  besides,  all  mingled  in  the  thoughts  and 
actions  of  this  prince,  who  caused  masses  of  his  own  composition 
to  be  chanted  in  his  chapel. 

As  soon  as  Henry  VIH  heard  of  Luther,  his  wrath  was  kindled 
Ugainst  him  ;  and  scarcely  was  the  decree  of  the  Diet  of  Worms 
known  in  England,  when  he  ordered  the  papal  bull  to  be  executed 
against  the  Reformer's  books.3  On  the  12th  May,  1521,  Thomas 
\Volsey,  who,  to  the  office  of  Chancellor  of  England,  united  those 
of  Cardinal  and  Roman  legate,  repaired  to  St.  Paul's  in  solemn 
procession.  This  man,  whose  pride  knew  no  bounds,  thought  hiiii- 

1  Subregio  vestiiu  Divi  Francisci  haoitu  utebatur.     (Samlpr.,  p.  5.) 

2  Legebat  studiose  libros  divi  Thomas  Aquiuatis.      (Polyd.  Virgil,  p.  634.)    Tie  stu 
diously  read  the" books  of  Thomas  Aquinas.  3  Primum  lihms  Lathers nos, 
quorum  mag'.ius  jam  nutnerus  pervenerat in  man iis  snoruin  Anglorum,  coinlmren- 
fjos  cumvit.    (Ibid.  664.)    His  first  core  was  to  burn  Luther's  b'joks,  a  great  number 
ot  which  were  in  the  bands  of  his  subjects. 

V^OLSEY.  79 

self  the  equal  of  kings.  His  chair  was  of  gold,  his  bed  of  gold,  and 
cloth  of  gold  covered  the  table  at  which  he  dined.1  Ou  this  occasion 
he  displayed  great  pomp.  The  haughty  prelate  walked,  surround 
ed  by  his  household,  consisting  of  eight  hundred  individuals,  among 
whom  were  barons,  knights,  and  cadets  of  the  most  distinguished 
families,  who  hoped  by  serving  him  to  obtain  public  appointments. 
Gold  and  silk  were  not  only  conspicuous  on  his  dress,  (he  was 
the  first  ecclesiastic  who  had  ventured  to  clothe  so  sumptuously,3) 
but  also  on  the  trappings  and  harness  of  his  horses.  Before  him 
a  priest  of  a  stately  figure  earned  a  rod,  surrounded  by  a  cruci 
fix ;  behind  him  another,  no  less  stately,  carried  the  archie- 
^iscopal  cross  of  York :  a  nobleman  walking  at  his  side  carried 
jis  cardinal's  hat.3  He  was  attended  by  nobles,  prelates,  ambas 
sadors  of  the  pope  and  the  emperor,  and  these  were  followed  by 
a  long  train  of  mules,  carrying  trunks  with  the  richest  and  most 
splendid  coverings.  At  London,  amidst  this  magnificent  proces 
sion,  the  writings  of  the  poor  monk  of  Wittemberg  were  carried  to 
the  flames.  On  arriving  at  the  cathedral,  the  proud  priest  made 
even  his  cardinal's  hat  be  placed  upon  the  altar.  The  virtuous 
Bishop  of  Rochester  took  his  station  at  the  foot  of  the  cross,  and 
there,  in  an  animated  tone,  inveighed  against  heresy.  The  im 
pious  writings  of  the  heresiarch  were  then  brought  forward  and 
devoutly  burned  in  presence  of  an  immense  crowd.  Such  was  the 
first  news  which  England  received  of  the  Reformation. 

Henry  did  not  choose  to  stop  here.  This  prince,  whose  sword 
was  ever  raised  against  his  enemies,  his  wives,  and  his  favourites, 
in  a  letter  to  the  Elector  Palatine  thus  expresses  himself,  "  It  is 
the  devil  who,  by  Luther  as  his  organ,  has  kindled  this  immense 
conflagration.  If  Luther  will  not  be  converted,  let  the  flames  con 
sume  him  and  his  writings."  4 

Even  this  was  not  enough.  Henry,  convinced  that  the  progress 
of  heresy  was  owing  to  the  ignorance  of  the  German  princes, 
thought  that  the  moment  was  come  for  displaying  all  his  learning. 
The  conquests  of  his  battle-axe  allowed  him  not  to  doubt  of  the 
conquests  reserved  for  his  peri.  But  another  passion  still — one  which 
is  always  strong  in  little  minds — vanity,  spurred  on  the  king.  He 
felt  humbled  at  having  no  title  to  oppose  those  of  "  Catholic"  and 
"Most  Christian,"  borne  by  the  kings  of  Spain  and  France,  and  he 
was  long  a  suppliant  at  the  Romish  court  for  a  similar  distinction. 
What  better  fitted  to  procure  such  a  title  than  an  attack  upon 

1  Ut  sella  aurea,  ut  pulvino  aureo,  ut  velo  aureo  ad  mensam.    (Ibid.) 

2  Primus  episcoporum  et  cardinalium,  A-estitum  exteiiorem  sericum  sibi  induifc 
(Ibid.  p.  633.)  3  Galerum  cardinalium,  ordinis  insiguem,  sublime  a  nrinistro 
prseferebat . . .  super  altare  collocabat.    (Ibid.  p.  645.)     The  cardinal's  hat,  the  badge 
of  his  rank,  was  carried  aloft  by  a  servant  .  .  .  and  placed  on  the  altar. 

*  Knapp's  Naclilese,  ii,  p.  458. 


heresy  ?  Henry,  therefore,  threw  aside  the  royal  purple,  and  de 
scended  from  his  lofty  throne  into  the  arena  of  theologians.  He 
made  a  compilation  from  Thomas  Aquinas,  Peter  Lombard,  Alex 
ander  Hales,  and  Bonaventure,  and  the  world  beheld  the  publica 
tion  of  the  Defence  of  the  Seven  Sacraments  against  Martin  Luther, 
by  the  most  invincible  King  of  England,  France,  and  Ireland,  Henry, 
Eighth  of  the  name. 

"  I  will  throw  myself  before  the  Church,"  said  the  King  of  Eng 
land  in  this  writing,  "  I  will  receive  in  my  breast  the  poisoned 
darts  of  the  enemy  who  is  assailing  her.1  To  this  the  present 
state  of  affairs  calls  me.  Every  servant  of  Jesus  Christ,  what 
ever  be  his  age,  rank,  or  sex,  must  bestir  himself  against  the  com 
mon  enemy  of  Christendom.2 

"Let  us  arm  ourselves  with  double  armour — with  heavenly 
weapons,  that  by  the  arms  of  truth  we  may  vanquish  him  who 
combats  with  the  arms  of  error.  But  let  us  also  arm  ourselves 
with  terrestrial  armour,  in  order  that,  if  he  proves  obstinate  in  his 
wickedness,  the  hand  of  the  executioner  may  constrain  him  to 
silence  ;  and  he  may  thus,  for  once  at  least,  be  useful  to  the  world 
by  his  exemplary  punishment."  3 

Henry  VIII  could  not  conceal  the  contempt  which  he  felt  for  his 
able  opponent.  "  This  man,"  said  the  crowned  theologian,  "seems 
as  if  he  were  in  labour :  he  makes  incredible  efforts,  but  only  brings 
forth  wind.4  Pluck  off  the  dress  of  arrogant  expression  in  which 
his  absurdities  are  clothed,  just  as  an  ape  is  clothed  in  purple,  and 
what  will  remain  ?  .  .  .  .  Miserable,  empty  sophistry ! " 

The  king  defends,  in  succession,  the  mass,  penance,  confirma 
tion,  orders,  and  extreme  unction.  He  spares  no  insulting  epithets, 
calling  his  opponent  by  turns  an  infernal  wolf,  a  venomous  viper, 
a  limb  of  the  devil.  Even  Luther's  honesty  is  assailed.  Henry 
VIII  crushes  the  mendicant  monk  with  his  royal  anger,  and,  in  the 
words  of  a  historian,  "  writes  as  'twere  with  his  sceptre."  & 

Still,  however,  it  must  be  admitted,  the  work  was  not  bad  for 
the  author  and  his  age.  The  style  is  not  without  vigour.  But  the 
public  could  not  content  themselves  with  merely  doing  it  justice. 
A  burst  of  applause  received  the  theological  treatise  of  the  power 
ful  king  of  England.  "The  most  learned  work  that  ever  the  sun 
saw,"  6  exclaimed  some.  "  It  deserves,"  rejoined  others,  "  to  be 
compared  with  the  works  of  St.  Augustin.  He  is  a  Constantine, 

1  Meque  adrersus  venenata  jacula  hostis  earn  oppugnantis  objicerem  (Assertio 
septem  sacramentoruin  adv.  M.  I*utherum,  in  prologo.)  2  Omnis  Christ!  servus, 

otnnis  J»tas,  omnis  sexus,  omnis  ordo  consurgat.    (Ibid.)  3  Et  qui  nocuit  verbo 

malitijB,  supplicii  prosit  exemplo.     (Ibid.)  *  Mirum  est  quanta  nixu  parturient, 

quam  nibil  peperit,  nisi  mernm  ventum.     (Ibid.)  °  Collier.  Eccl.  Hist.  Or. 

Dr.,  p.  17.  6  Bui-net,  Hist,  of  the  Kef.  of  England,  i,  p  SO. 


a  Charlemagne.1'  "  He  is  more,"  exclaimed  a  third  party,  "  he  is  a 
second  Solomon ! " 

These  exclamations  were  soon  heard  beyond  the  limits  of  Eng 
land.  Henry  desired  the  Dean  of  Windsor,  John  Clarke,  his  am 
bassador  to  the  pope,  to  deliver  his  book  to  the  sovereign  pontiff. 
Leo  X  received  the  ambassador  in  full  consistory.  Clarke,  in 
presenting  the  royal  work,  said,  "  The  king,  my  master,  assures  you 
that,  after  refuting  the  errors  of  Luther  with  his  pen,  he  is  ready 
to  combat  his  adherents  with  the  sword."  Leo  X,  deeply  gratified 
with  this  promise,  replied  that  the  book  of  the  king  of  England 
could  only  have  been  composed  with  the  aid  of  the  Holy  Spirit, 
and  named  Henry  "Defender  of  the  Faith"  a  title  which  the  kings 
of  England  still  bear. 

The  reception  given  to  the  king's  work  at  Rome  contributed 
greatly  to  its  circulation.  In  a  few  months  several  thousands  of 
copies  issued  from  different  presses.1  "  The  whole  Christian  world," 
says  Cochloeus,  "  was  filled  with  admiration  and  joy."2 

These  extravagant  praises  increased  the  vanity  of  the  Chief  of 
the  Tudors.  He  was  brought  to  fancy  he  had  written  with  some 
degree  of  inspiration.3  Afterwards  he  would  not  submit  to  the 
least  contradiction.  To  him  the  papacy  was  no  longer  at  Rome  but 
at  Greenwich,  and  infallibility  rested  on  his  own  head.  At  a  later 
period  this  contributed  greatly  to  the  Reformation  of  England. 

Luther  read  Henry's  book  with  mingled  disdain,  impatience,  and 
indignation.  The  falsehood  and  insults  which  it  contained,  but 
especially  the  air  of  contempt  and  pity  affected  by  the  king,  irri 
tated  the  doctor  of  Wittemberg  in  the  highest  degree.  The  thought 
that  the  pope  had  crowned  the  writing,  and  that  the  enemies  of 
the  Gospel  were  everywhere  trampling  on  the  Reformation  and 
the  Reformer,  as  already  overthrown  and  vanquished,  increased 
his  indignation.  Besides,  what  occasion  had  he  for  delicacy? 
Was  he  not  fighting  for  a  king  greater  than  all  the  kings  of  the  earth  ? 
Evangelical  mildness  seemed  to  him  out  of  season :  eye  for  eye, 
tooth  for  tooth.  He  kept  no  measure.  Pursued,  goaded,  tracked, 
and  wounded,  the  raging  lion  turned  round  and  prepared  to  tear 
his  enemy.  The  Elector,  Spalatin,  Melancthon,  and  Bugenhagen, 
tried  in  vain  to  appease  him.  They  would  have  prevented  him 
from  replying,  but  he  was  not  to  be  stopped.  "  I  will  not  deal 
mildly  with  the  King  of  England ;"  said  he,  "  it  is  in  vain,  (I  know- 
it  is,)  to  humble  myself,  to  yield,  beseech,  and  try  the  ways  of 
peace.  I  will  at  length  show  myself  more  terrible  than  the  ferocious 
beasts  who  are  constantly  butting  me  with  their  horns.  I  will 

1  Intra  paucos  menses,  liber  ejus  a  multis  chalcographis  in  multa  millia  multipH- 
catus.     (Cochloeus,  p.  44.)  2  Ut  totum  orbem  christianum  et  gaudi<>  et  admi- 

rauoue  repleverit.     (Ibid.)  »  Bui-net's  Preface. 


let  them  feel  mine :  I  will  preach  and  irritate  Satan  until  he  wears 
himself  out,  and  falls  down  exhausted." 1  If  this  heretic  retracts 
iiot,  says  the  new  Thomas,  Henry  VIII,  he  must  be  burnt.  Such 
are  the  weapons  now  employed  against  me :  first,  the  fury  of 
stupid  asses  and  Thomastical  swine,  and  then  the  fire.2  Very 
well !  Let  these  swine  come  forward,  if  they  dare,  and  buna  me  ! 
Here  I  am,  waiting  for  them.  My  wish  is,  that  my  ashes,  thrown 
after  my  death  into  a  thousand  seas,  may  arise,  pursue,  and  en- 
gulph  this  abominable  crew.  Living,  I  will  be  the  enemy  of  the 
papacy :  burnt,  I  will  be  its  destruction !  Go,  swine  of  St.  Thomas, 
do  what  seemeth  to  you  good.  You  shall  ever  find  Luther  as  a 
bear  in  your  way,  and  a  lion  in  your  path.  He  will  thunder  upon 
you  from  all  quarters,  and  leave  you  no  peace  until  he  has  brayed 
your  brains  of  iron,  and  ground  to  powder  your  foreheads  of  brass." 

At  the  outset  Lumber  upbraids  Henry  VIII  with  having  based 
his  doctrines  only  on  the  decrees  and  sentences  of  men.  "  For  me," 
says  he,  "I  cease  not  to  cry,  the  Gospel!  the  Gospel! — Christ! 
Christ !  while  my  opponents  cease  not  to  reply — Customs  !  Cus 
toms  ! — Ordinances  !  Ordinances ! — Fathers !  Fathers !  "  Lei 
your  faith"  says  St.  Paul,  '•''stand  not  in  the  wisdom  of  men,  but  in 
tfte  power  of  God."  And  the  apostle,  by  this  thunderbolt  from 
heaven,  overthrows  and  scatters,  like  the  dust  before  the  wind, 
all  the  silly  crotchets  of  this  Henry.  In  confusion  and  consterna 
tion  the  Thomists,  the  papists,  and  the  Henrys  fell  to  the  ground, 
before  the  thunder  of  these  words."  3 

He  afterwards  refutes  the  king's  production  in  detail,  overthrow 
ing  his  arguments,  one  by  one,  with  clearness,  ability,  and  a 
thorough  knowledge  of  the  Holy  Scriptures  and  the  history  of  the 
Church,  but  also  with  a  confidence,  disdain,  and  occasionally  a 
violence  at  which  we  must  not  be  surprised. 

On  arriving  at  the  conclusion,  Luther  again  expresses  indigna 
tion  at  his  opponent  for  drawing  arguments  only  from  the  fathers :  this 
was  the  essence  of  the  whole  controversy.  "  To  all  the  sayings  of 
fathers,  men,  angels,  devils,"  says  he,  "  I  oppose  not  the  antiquity 
of  custom,  not  the  multitude,  but  the  Word  of  the  Eternal  Majesty, 
the  Gospel,  which  they  themselves  are  constrained  to  approve. 
By  it  I  hold  ;  on  it  I  rest ;  in  it  I  glory,  triumph,  and  exult  over 
papists,  Thomists,  Henrys,  and  all  the  hellish  stye.4  The  King 

1  Mea  in  ipsos  exercebo  cornua,  irritaturus  Satanam,  donee  effusis  viribus  et  co 
natibus  corruat  in  se  ipso.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  236.)  2  Ignis  et  furor  insulsissimo- 

rum  asinorum  et  Thornisticoruru  porcorum.  (Contra  Henricum  Regem,  Op.  (L.)  ii, 
p.  331.)  This  tract  occasionally  reminds  us  of  the  great  agitator  of  Ireland,  only 
there  is  more  strength  and  mildness  in  the  orator  of  the  sixteenth  than  in  that  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  (bee  the  British  Critic,  Nov.  1835,  Art.  Reign  of  O'Conneli.) 
'•  Soaped  swine  of  civilised  society,"  etc.,  p.  30.  3  Confusi  et  prostrati  jacent  a 

facie  verborum  istius  tonitrui.  (Contra  Henricum  regem.  Op.  (L.)  ii,  p.  336. 

*  Hie  sto.  hie  sedeo,  hie  maneo,  hie  glorior,  hie  triuiupho,  hie  insulto  papistic    .  . 


of  Heaven  is  with  me,  and  therefore  I  fear  nothing  even  should  a 
thousand  Augustins,  a  thousand  Cyprians,  and  a  thousand  churches, 
of  which  Henry  is  the  defender,  rise  up  against  me.  It  is  a  small 
matter  for  me  to  despise  and  lash  an  earthly  king  who  himself  has 
not  feared,  in  his  writing,  to  blaspheme  the  King  of  Heaven  and 
profane  his  holiness  by  the  most  audacious  falsehood.2 

"  Papists,"  exclaims  he,  in  concluding,  "  will  you  not  desist  from 
your  vain  pursuits  ?  Do  as  you  please  :  the  result,  however,  must 
be,  that  before  the  Gospel  which  I,  Martin  Luther,  have  preached, 
popes,  bishops,  priests,  monks,  princes,  devils,  death,  sin,  and  what 
ever  is  not  Jesus  Christ,  or  in  Jesus  Christ,  shall  fall  and  perish."  s 

Thus  spoke  the  poor  monk.  His  violence,  certainly,  cannot  be 
excused,  if  it  is  judged  by  the  rule  to  which  he  himself  appeals, 
viz.,  the  Word  of  God.  We  cannot  even  justify  it  by  alleging 
either  the  coarseness  of  the  age — for  Melancthon  was  able  to  dis 
cover  his  courtesy  in  his  writings- — or  the  energy  of  his  disposition, 
for,  if  this  energy  had  some  effect  on  his  language,  passion  had 
still  more.  The  best  course,  therefore,  is  not  to  attempt  to  defend 
it.  However,  to  be  just,  let  it  be  observed,  that  in  the  sixteenth 
century  this  violence  did  not  seem  so  strange  as  it  appears  in  the 
present  day.  The  learned  were  then  one  of  the  existing  powers  as 
well  as  princes.  Henry  had  attacked  Luther  by  becoming  an 
author.  Luther  replied  conformably  to  the  law  received  in  the 
Republic  of  Letters,  viz.,  that  the  thing  to  be  considered  is  the 
truth  of  what  is  said,  and  not  the  quality  of  him  who  says  it.  Let 
us  also  add,  that  when  this  very  king  turned  against  the  pope,  the 
insults  which  he  received  from  the  Romish  writers,  and  the  pope 
himself,  far  exceeded  anything  that  had  been  said  by  Luther. 

Besides,  if  Luther  called  doctor  Eck  an  ass,  and  Henry  VIII  a 
hog,  he  indignantly  rejected  the  intervention  of  the  secular  arm, 
whereas  Dr.  Eck  wrote  a  dissertation  to  prove  that  heretics  ought 
to  be  burned  :  and  Henry  erected  scaffolds  agreeably  to  the  pre 
cepts  of  the  doctor  of  Ingolstadt. 

A  deep  sensation  was  produced  at  the  king's  court.  Surrey, 
Wolsey,  and  the  tribe  of  courtiers  broke  off  the  pomps  and  festi 
vities  of  Greenwich,  to  vent  their  indignation  in  contumely  and 
sarcasm.  The  venerable  bishop  of  Rochester,  who  had  been  de 
lighted  when  he  saw  the  young  prince,  who  had  been  early  com 
mitted  to  his  charge,  breaking  a  lance  for  the  Church,  was  deeply 
wounded  by  the  monk's  attack,  and  immediately  replied  to  it.  His 
words  are  very  characteristic  of  his  time  and  his  Church. 

(Contra  ITenricum  regem.  Op.  (L.)  ii,p.  342.)        Here  I  stand,  here  I  sit,  here  I  re- 
jnain,  here  I  glory,  here  1  triumph,  here  I  trample  <m  the  papists. 
1  Nee  magnum  si  ego  regem  terrse  coutemuo.    (Ibid.,  p.  344,  verso.)  3  L.  Op 

xviii,  p.  209. 


"  Catch  for  us  the  small  foxes  that  spoil  the  vines,  says  Christ  in 
the  Song  of  Songs.  This  shows,"  says  Fisher,  "  that  we  must  lay 
hands  on  heretics  before  they  grow  .up.  Now  Luther  has  become 
a  great  fox, — a  fox  so  old,  and  cunning,  and  malicious,  that  it  is 
very  difficult  to  catch  him.  What  do  I  say  ?  a  fox  !  ....  he  is 
a  mad  dog,  a  ravening  wolf,  a  cruel  bear,  or  rather  all  these  animals 
at  once  ;  for  the  monster  has  several  beasts  in  his  bosom." l 

Thomas  More  also  descended  into  the  arena  to  encounter  the 
monk  of  Wittemberg.  Although  a  layman,  he  pushed  his  zeal 
against  the  Reformation  the  length  of  fanaticism,  if  he  did  not  push 
it  the  length  of  blood.  When  young  noblemen  undertake  the  defence 
of  the  papacy,  their  violence  often  outstrips  that  of  ecclesiastics 
themselves.  "  Reverend  brother,  father,  drunkard,  deserter  of 
the  Augustin  order,  mi  shapen  bacchanalian  as  to  both  kinds  of 
law,  untaught  teacher  of  sacred  theology."  2  Such  are  the  terms 
addressed  to  the  Reformer  by  one  of  the  most  illustrious  men  of 
his  time.  Then  explaining  the  mode  in  which  Luther  has  com 
posed  his  book  against  Henry,  he  says,  "  He  called  together  his 
companions,  and  asked  each  to  go  his  way,  and  rummage  for 
buffoonery  and  insult.  One  went  to  waggoners  and  boatmen,  another 
to  baths  and  gambling  houses,  a  third  to  barbers'  shops  and  taverns, 
a  fourth  to  mills  and  brothels.  Every  thing  they  heard  most 
insolent,  filthy,  and  infamous,  they  noted  down,  and  bringing  it 
back,  threw  it  into  that  impure  sink  called  the  mind  of  Luther."  "  If 
he  retracts  his  lies  and  calumnies,"  he  continues,  "if  he  lays  aside  his 
folly  and  fury,  if  he  again  swallows  his  abominations,3  he  will  find 
some  one  to  debate  gravely  with  him.  But  if  he  continues  as  he  has 
begun,  jesting,  raging,  playing  the  mountebank,  slandering,  vomiting 
nothing  but  filth,4  ....  then  let  others  do  as  they  will ;  for  us, 
we  prefer  leaving  the  little  friar  alone  with  his  fury  and  his  filth."  5 
Thomas  More  had  better  have  reserved  his  own.  Luther  had 
never  stooped  so  low  in  his  style.  He  made  no  reply. 

This  production  increased  Henry's  attachment  to  More.  He 
once  paid  him  a  visit  in  his  modest  dwelling  at  Chelsea.  After 
dinner,  the  king  walked  with  him  in  his  garden,  with  his  arm  resting 
on  the  shoulder  of  his  favourite,  while  Lady  More  and  her  children, 
concealed  behind  the  lattice,  could  not  withdraw  their  astonished 
eyes.  After  one  of  these  w  alks,  More,  who  knew  Henry's  character, 

1  Canem  dixissem  rabidum,  imo  lupum  rapacissimum,  aut  saivissimam  quamdam 
ursam.  (Cochloeus,  p.  60.)  2  Reverendus  frateiypater,  potator,  Lutherus. 

(Ibid.,  p.  61.)  s  Si  ....  suas  resorbeat  et  sua  relingat  stercora.  (Ibid.,  p.  62.) 

*  Sentinas,  cloacas,  latrinas  ....  stercora.  (Ibid.,  p.  63.)  5  Cum  suia 

.  .  .  .  et  stercoribus  ....  relinquere.  (Ibid.,  p.  62.)  Cochloeus  quotes  these  passages 
exultingly,  as  being,  to  his  taste,  the  finest  in  Sir  Thomas  Move's  production.  M. 
Nisard^  on  the  contrary,  in  his  work  on  More,  whose  apology  he  makes  with  so  much 
warmth  and  learning,  admits  "  that  the  filth  inspired  by  the  passion  of  the  Catholic  is 
such  as  to  render  translation  impossible."  (Revue  des  deux  Mondes,  v,  p.  592.) 


said  to  bis  wife,  "  If  my  head  could  gain  him  a  single  castle  in 
France,  he  would  never  hesitate." 

The  king,  thus  defended  by  the  Bishop  of  Rochester  and  his 
future  chancellor,  had  no  occasion  to  resume  his  pen.  Confounded 
at  seeing  himself  treated  in  the  face  of  Europe  as  a  mere  author, 
Henry  abandoned  the  dangerous  position  he  had  taken  up,  and 
throwing  away  his  theological  pen,  had  recourse  to  the  more  effica 
cious  methods  of  diplomacy. 

An  ambassador  set  off  from  the  court  at  Greenwich  with  a  letter 
from  the  king  to  the  Elector  and  the  Dukes  of  Saxony.  Henry  thus 
expressed  himself:  "Luther,  the  true  dragon  fallen  from  heaven, 
is  pouring  out  his  venomous  floods  on  the  earth.  He  is  stirring  up 
revolt  in  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  abolishing  the  laws,  insulting 
the  powers,  exciting  laymen  against  priests,  laymen  and  priests 
against  the  pope,  and  subjects  against  kings,  his  only  wish  being  to 
see  Christians  fighting  together  and  destroying  each  other,  and  the 
enemies  of  our  faith  grinning  with  delight  over  the  scene  of  carnage.1 

"  What  is  this  doctrine  which  he  terms  evangelical  but  the  doc 
trine  of  Wickliffe  ?  Now,  most  honoured  uncles,  I  know  what 
your  ancestors  did  to  destroy  it.  They  pursued  it  in  Bohemia  as 
if  it  had  been  a  wild  beast,  and  causing  it  to  fall  into  a  trap,  there 
enclosed  and  barricaded  it.  You  will  not  allow  it  to  escape  by  your 
negligence,  steal  into  Saxony,  and  take  possession  of  all  Germany, 
sending  forth  from  its  fuming  nostrils  the  fire  of  hell,  and  spreading 
far  and  wide  the  conflagration  which  your  country  so  often  desired 
to  extinguish  in  its  blood.2 

"  Wherefore,  most  excellent  Mends,  I  feel  myself  called  to  ex 
hort  you,  and  even  to  implore  you  by  all  that  is  most  sacred,  speedily 
to  strangle  the  cursed  sect  of  Luther.  Put  no  one  to  death  if  it  can 
possibly  be  avoided;  but  if  heretical  obstinacy  continues,  shed 
blood  without  fear  in  order  that  this  abominable  sect  may  cease 
from  under  heaven."  3 

The  Elector  and  his  brother  referred  the  king  to  the  future 
Council.  Thus  Henry  was  far  from  succeeding  in  his  object.  u  So 
great  a  man  mingling  in  the  dispute,"  says  Paul  Sarpi,  "  served  to 
excite  more  curiosity  and  procure  universal  favour  for  Luther,  as 
usually  happens  in  combats  and  tournays,  where  the  spectators 
always  incline  to  the  weakest  party,  and  take  pleasure  in  giving  a 
higher  place  to  his  humble  exploits. 

1  So  ergiest  er,  gleich  wie  eine  Schlang  voin  Himmel  geworfen .   (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.21'2.) 
The  original  is  in  Latin — Velut  a  ccelo  dejectus  serpens,  virus  effundit  in  terras. 
3  Und  durch  sein  schadlich  Ar.blasen  das  hbllische  Feuer  ausspriihe.    (Ibid.,  p  21".) 
a  Oder  aber  auch  mit  I31ut  vergiessen.     (Ibid.)  4  History  of  the  Council  of 

Trent,  pp.  15, 16. 



General  Movement — The  Monks — How  the  Reformation  is  Accomplished — Ordinary 
Utilievers— The  Old  and  the  New  Teachers — Printing  arid  Literature — Booksellers 
and  Hawkers. 

In  fact.,  an  immense  movement  was  taking  place.  The  Refor 
mation  which,  after  the  Diet  of  Worms  was  supposed  to  be  shut 
up  with  its  first  teacher  within  the  narrow  chamber  of  a  strong 
castle,  burst  forth,  spreading  throughout  the  empire,  and  even 
throughout  Christendom.  The  two  parties,  till  then  confounded, 
oegan  to  stand  apart  from  each  other,  and  the  partisans  of  a  monk 
who  had  nothing  on  his  side  but  his  eloquence,  fearlessly  took  up 
their  position  confronting  the  servants  of  Charles  V,  and  Leo  X. 
Luther  had  just  quitted  the  walls  of  the  Wartburg,  the  pope  had 
excommunicated  all  who  had  adhered  to  him,  the  imperial  diet  had 
condemned  his  doctrine,  princes  were  hastening  to  crush  it  in  the 
greater  part  cf  the  Germanic  States,  the  ministers  of  Rome  were 
tearing  it  to  pieces  before  the  people  by  their  violent  invectives,  the 
other  states  of  Christendom  were  calling  upon  Germany  to  sacri 
fice  an  enemy,  whose  attacks  they  dreaded  even  at  a  distance ;  and 
yet  this  new  and  not  numerous  party,  without  organisation,  without 
connecting  ties,  with  nothing,  in  short,  to  concentrate  the  common 
strength,  had  already,  by  the  energy  of  their  faith  and  the  rapidity  of 
their  conquests,  spread  terror  over  the  vast,  ancient,  and  mighty  do 
main  of  Rome.  Every  where,  as  in  the  first  breathings  of  Spring,  the 
seed  was  seen  bursting  forth  from  the  ground  without  effort,  and, 
as  it  were,  spontaneously.  Every  day  gave  evidence  of  new  pro 
gress.  Individuals,  villages,  burghs,  whole  towns,  united  in  the 
new  confession  of  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ.  There  was  stern 
resistance  and  dreadful  persecution  ;  but  the  mysterious  power 
which  urged  forward  the  people  was  irresistible,  and  the  persecuted 
hastening  on  and  advancing,  amid  exile,  imprisonment,  and  scaf 
folds,  were  eveiy  where  succeeding  against  the  persecutors. 

The  monastic  orders,  which  Rome  had  stretched  over  Christen 
dom,  like  a  net  destined  to  take  souls  and  hold  them  captive,  were 
the  first  to  break  these  bonds,  and  rapidly  propagate  the  new  doc 
trine  throughout  the  Western  Church.  The  Augustins  of  Saxony 
had  advanced  with  Luther,  having,  like  him,  that  intimate  experi 
ence  of  the  divine  Word  which  gives  an  interest  in  God  himself,  and 
so  dispenses  with  Rome  and  her  arrogant  pretensions.  But  in  the 
other  convents  of  the  order,  evangelical  light  had  also  arisen.  Some 
times  it  was  old  men  who,  like  Staupitz,  had  preserved  the  sound 


doctrines  of  truth  in  the  bosom  of  ill-used  Christendom,  and  were 
now  asking  God  to  let  them  depart  in  peace  because  their  eyes 
had  seen  his  salvation.  At  other  times,  it  was  young  men  who, 
with  all  the  eagerness  of  early  life,  had  received  the  lessons  of 
Luther.  At  Nuremberg,  Osnabruck,  Dettingen,  Ratisbon,  Hesse, 
Wurtemberg,  Strasburg,  Antwerp,  the  Augustin  convents  turned 
towards  Christ,  and  by  their  courage  provoked  the  wrath  of 

But  the  movement  was  not  confined  to  the  Augustins.  They 
were  imitated  in  the  monasteries  of  the  other  orders  by  bold  indivi 
duals,  who,  in  spite  of  the  clamour  of  such  monks  as  were  unwilling 
to  abandon  their  carnal  observances,  in  spite  of  wrath,  contempt, 
and  sentences  of  condemnation,  in  spite  of  discipline  and  cloistral 
prisons,  fearlessly  raised  their  voice  for  this  holy  and  precious 
truth,  which,  after  so  many  painful  searches,  so  many  distressing 
doubts,  so  many  internal  struggles,  they  had  found  at  last.  In 
the  greater  part  of  the  cloisters,  the  most  spiritually  minded,  the 
most  pious  and  best  informed  of  the  inmates  declared  in  favour  of 
Reform.  In  the  Franciscan  convent  at  Ulm,  Eberlin  and  Ketten- 
bach  attacked  the  servile  works  of  monachism,  and  the  supersti 
tious  practices  of  the  Church,  with  an  eloquence  which  might  have 
earned  a  nation,  calling,  in  one  breath,  for  the  suppression  of  the 
abodes  of  monks  and  the  abodes  of  debauchery.  Stephen  Kemp, 
another  Franciscan,  standing  alone,  preached  the  gospel  at  Ham 
burg,  and  with  undaunted  breast,  withstood  the  hatred,  envy, 
menaces,  snares,  and  attacks  of  priests,  irritated  when  they  saw  the 
people  forsaking  their  altars  and  crowding  with  enthusiasm  to  his 

Often  even  the  heads  of  convents  were  the  first  ta  move  in  the 
direction  of  Reform.  At  Halberstadt,  Neuenwerk,  Halle,  and  Sa- 
gan,  the  priors  set  their  monks  the  example,  or  at  least  declared 
that  if  any  monk  felt  his  conscience  burdened  by  monastic  vows, 
so  far  from  detaining  him  in  the  convent,  they  would  take  him  on 
their  shoulders  to  carry  him  out.2 

In  fact,  throughout  Germany,  monks  were  seen  depositing  their 
frocks  and  cowls  at  the  door  of  their  monastery.  Some  were  ex 
pelled  by  the  violence  of  the  friars  or  abbots;  others  of  a  mild  and 
pacific  character  could  not  endure  the  disputes  which  were  per 
petually  springing  up,  the  insult,  clamour,  and  hatred  which  pur 
sued  them  even  in  their  sleep.  The  majority  were  convinced  that 
the  monastic  life  was  opposed  to  the  will  of  God  and  the  Christian 
life.  Some  had  arrived  gradually  at  this  conviction,  and  others 

1  T>er  ubrisen  Predij^er  Feindschafft,  Neid,  Nfichstellungen,  Praticken  und  Sclmv- 
kfcii.  (Seckendorff,  p.  457.)  2lbid.,  p.  811.  StentzeL  Script.  Her.  S;  es,  i,  p.  457. 


all  at  once  while  reading  some  passage  of  the  Bible.  Idleness, 
coarseness,  ignorance,  and  meanness,  the  essential  characteristics 
of  the  mendicant  orders,  produced  ineffable  disgust  in  men  of  an 
exalted  spirit,  who  felt  it  impossible  any  longer  to  endure  the 
company  of  their  vulgar  associates.  A  Franciscan  begging  his 
round  presented  himself  one  day,  with  his  box  in  his  hand,  at  a 
smithy  in  Nuremberg,  "  Why,"  said  the  smith  to  him,  "  do  you 
not  rather  gain  your  bread  by  working  with  your  own  hands? 
At  these  words  the  sturdy  monk  threw  away  his  dress,  and  seiz 
ing  the  hammer  with  a  vigorous  hand,  made  it  fall  with  force  on 
the  anvil.  The  useless  mendicant  had  become  an  honest  mechanic. 
His  box  and  frock  were  sent  back  to  the  monastery.1 

Nor  were  monks  the  only  persons  who  ranged  themselves  under 
the  standard  of  the  gospel ;  priests  in  still  greater  numbers  preached 
the  new  doctrine.  •  But  it  did  not  even  need  preachers  to  diffuse 
it:  it  often  acted  on  the  minds  of  men,  and  awoke  them  from  their 
deep  sleep  before  any  one  had  addressed  them. 

In  towns,  burghs,  and  even  villages,  Luther's  writings  were 
read  in  the  evening  at  the  fireside,  or  in  the  house  of  the  school 
master.  Some  of  the  inhabitants  were  struck  by  this  reading  ;  they 
applied  to  the  Bible  to  clear  np  their  doubts,  and  were  astonished 
when  they  saw  the  strange  contrast  between  their  Christianity  and 
the  Christianity  of  the  Bible.  Hesitating  for  a  time  between  Rome 
and  the  Holy  Scriptures,  they  took  refuge  in  that  living  word  which 
shed  a  sudden  and  delightful  light  on  their  souls.  Meanwhile, 
some  evangelical  preacher  appeared,  perhaps  a  priest,  perhaps  a 
monk.  He  spoke  with  eloquence  and  conviction  ;  2  he  declared 
that  Christ  had  satisfied  fully  for  the  sins  of  the  people,  proving 
from  Scripture  the  vanity  of  human  works  and  penances.  A 
formidable  opposition  burst  forth.  The  clergy  and  frequently  the 
magistrates  used  every  effort  to  bring  back  those  souls  which  they 
would  have  destroyed ;  but  there  was  in  the  new  preaching  an 
accordance  with  Scripture,  and  a  hidden  energy  which  won  men's 
hearts,  subduing  the  most  rebellious.  At  the  risk  of  their  goods,  or,  if 
need  were,  at  the  risk  of  their  lives,  they  embraced  the  cause  of  the 
gospel,  and  abandoned  the  barren,  fanatical  orators  of  the  papacy.3 
Sometimes  the  people  irritated  at  being  so  long  imposed  upon  com 
pelled  the  priests  to  withdraw,  but  more  frequently  the  priests, 
abandoned  by  their  flocks,  without  tithes,  without  offerings,  went 
off  in  sadness,  of  their  own  accord,  to  go  and  seek  a  living  else- 

'    i  Ranke  Deutsche  Geschiehte,  ii,  p.  70.  2  Eaque  omnia  pi-ompte,  alacriter. 

eloquenter     (Cochlceus,  p.  52.)  3  Populo  odibiles  catholic!  concionatores.     (Ibid.) 

The  catholic  preachers  were  odious  to  the  people. 


where.1  And  while  the  props  of  the  ancient  hierarchy  withdrew  sul 
len  and  downcast,  sometimes  taking  leave  of  their  old  flocks  in 
words  of  malediction,  the  people  overjoyed  at  having  found  truth 
and  liberty,  gathered  round  the  new  preachers  with  acclamation, 
and  eager  to  hear  the  word,  carried  them,  as  it  were,  in  triumph 
into  the  church  and  th«  pulpit.2 

A  powerful  doctrine  which  came  from  God  was  then  renovating 
society.  The  people  or  their  leaders  frequently  -wrote  for  some 
man  of  known  faith  to  come  and  enlighten  them,  and  he,  for  the 
love  of  the  gospel,  forthwith  abandoned  all — family,  friends,  and 
country.3  Persecution  often  forced  the  friends  of  the  Keformation 
to  quit  their  homes.  Arriving  in  some  place  where  it  was  not  yet 
known,  finding  some  house  which  offered  an  asylum  to  poor 
travellers,  they  spoke  of  the  gospel,  read  some  pages  of  it  to  the 
attentive  burghers,  and  obtained  leave,  perhaps  at  the  request  of 
then:  new  friends,  to  preach  one  sermon  in  the  church.  Then 
a  vast  conflagration  burst  forth  in  the  town,  and  the  utmost  efforts 
were  unable  to  extinguish  it.4  If  permission  to  preach  in  the 
church  was  denied,  they  preached  elsewhere.  Every  place  became 
a  church.  At  Husum  in  Holstein,  Herman  Tast,  who  was  on  his 
way  from  Wittemberg,  and  against  whom  the  parish  clergy  had 
shut  the  church,  preached  to  an  immense  crowd  in  the  burying- 
ground,  under  the  shade  of  two  large  trees,  not  far  from  the  spot 
where,  seven  centuries  before,  Anschar  had  proclaimed  the  gospel 
to  the  pagans.  At  Arnstadt,  the  Augustin,  Gaspard  Gtittel, 
preached  in  the  market  place.  At  Dantzig,  the  gospel  was  preached 
on  a  hill  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  town.  At  Gosslar,  a  student 
of  Wittemberg  preached  the  new  doctrine  in  a  grove  of  linden  trees, 
a  circumstance  which  procured  for  the  evangelical  Christians  the 
name  of  Linden  Brothers. 

While  the  priests  were  exhibiting  in  the  eyes  of  the  people  a 
sordid  avidity,  the  new  preachers  thus  addressed  them — "We  re 
ceived  it  freely,  and  we  give  it  to  you  freely." 5  An  idea  often 
proclaimed  from  the  pulpit  by  the  new  preachers,  viz.,  that  Rome 
had,  of  old,  sent  the  Germans  a  corrupted  gospel,  and  that  Ger 
many  was  now,  for  the  first  time,  hearing  the  Word  of  Jesus 
Christ  in  its  divine  and  primitive  beauty,,  produced  a  profound 
impression.1  The  great  idea  of  the  equality  of  all  men,  and  of  an 

1  Ad  extremam  redact!  inopiam,  aliunde  eibi  victum  quserere  cogerentur.  (CocTi- 
loeus,  p.  53.)  Being  reduced  to  extreme  want  they  were  obliged  to  seek  their  living 
elsewhere.  2  Triumphantibus  novisprsedicatoribus,  qui  sequacem  populum  xerbo 
iiovi  Evangelii  sui  ducebant.  (Ibid.)  To  the  exultation  of  the  new  preachers  who 
drew  the  people  after  them  by  the  preaching  of  the  new  gospel.  3  Multi,  omissa 

re  domestica,  in  speciem  veri  Evangelii,  parentes  et  amicos  relinquebant.  (Ibid.) 
Many  abandoning  their  domestic  affairs  for  a  show  of  the  true  gospel  forsook  their 
parents  and  friends.  4  Ubi  vero  aliquns  nacti  fuissent  amicos  in  ea  civitate. 

(Ibid.,  p.  54.)     When  they  had  found  some  friends  in  that  city.  s  Mira  eis  erat 

liberalitas.    (Ibid.,  p.  53.)    Their  liberality  was  wonderful. 


universal  brotherhood  in  Jesus  Christ,  enraptured  those  who  had 
long  been  weighed  down  under  the  yoke  of  feudalism  and  the 
papacy  of  the  middle  ages.2 

Often  unlettered  Christians,  with  the  New  Testament  in  their 
hands,  offered  to  defend  the  Reformed  doctrine.  The  Catholics, 
adhering  to  Rome,  withdrew  in  alarm;  for  the  business  of  study 
ing  the  Holy  Scriptures  was  committed  to  priests  and  monks  only. 
These  accordingly  saw  themselves  obliged  to  come  forward.  A 
discussion  commenced,  but  the  priests  and  monks,  overwhelmed  by 
laymen  with  quotations  from  the  Holy  Scriptures,  soon  knew  not 
vhat  to  oppose  to  them.3  .  .  .  .  "  Unfortunately,"  says 
Cochloeus,  "  Luther  had  persuaded  his  followers  that  faith  was  to 
be  given  only  to  the  oracle  of  the  sacred  books."  A  shout  arose 
in  the  assembly,  and  proclaimed  the  shameful  ignorance  of  these 
old  theologians,  who,  till  then,  had  passed  with  their  party  for 
men  of  learning.4 

The  humblest  individuals,  even  the  weaker  sex,  with  the  help  of 
the  Word,  persuaded  and  gained  converts.  Extraordinary  acts 
are  done  in  extraordinary  times.  At  Ingolstadt,  under  the  very 
eyes  of  Doctor  Eck,  a  young  weaver  read  the  writings  of  Luther 
to  the  assembled  multitude.  In  the  same  place,  the  university  hav 
ing  resolved  to  force  a  retractation  from  a  pupil  of  Melancthon,  a 
female,  named  Argula  of  Staufen.  undertook  his  defence,  and  chal- 
/enged  the  professors  to  a  public  disputation.  Women  and  children, 
artisans  and  soldiers,  were  more  learned  in  the  Bible  than  teachers 
in  schools,  and  priests  at  altars. 

Christendom  was  divided  into  two  camps,  whose  appearance 
presented  a  striking  contrast.  Confronting  the  old  supporters  of  the 
hierarchy,  who  had  neglected  the  acquisition  of  languages  and 
the  cultivation  of  letters  (this  is  the  account  given  by  one  of  them 
selves),  stood  a  generous  youth,  accustomed  to  study,  deeply  read 
in  the  Scriptures,  and  familiar  with  the  masterpieces  of  antiquity.5 
Gifted  with  a  ready  understanding,  an  elevated  mind,  and  an  in 
trepid  heart,  these  youths  soon  acquired  such  knowledge,  that  for 
a  long  time  none  could  compete  with  them.  Their  superiority  to 
their  contemporaries  consisted,  not  merely  in  their  living  faith,  but 
also  in  an  elegance  of  style,  a  savour  of  antiquity,  a  true  philo 
sophy,  a  knowledge  of  the  world,  completely  unknown  to  the 

1  Earn  usque  (Mem  nunquam  germane  preedicatam.  (Coch.  p.  53.)  That  till  that 
davit  never  had  been  preached  in  Germany.  "  Omnes  aequales  etfratres  in  Christo. 
(Ibid.)  3  Alaicis  Lutlieranis,  plures  scripturaB  locos,  quam  a  monachis  et  pres- 

hyteris.     (Ibid.  p.  54.)    More  passages  of  Scripture  were  quoted  by  Lutheran  laics 
than  by  monks  and  presbyters.  *  Reputabantur  Catholic!  ab  illis  ignari  Scrip- 

turarum.      (Ibid.)      The   Catholics  Tvere  reported   by  them  to  be  ignorant  of  the 
Scriptures.  5  Totam  vero  jnventutem,  eloquentine  litteris,  linsrvumimque  studio 

dfdiram  ....  in  partem  suarn  traxit.     (IhirU     All  the  youth  devoted  to.  eloquence, 
literature,  and  the  study  of  languages,  he  drew  over  to  his  party, 


theologians,  veteris  farina,  (of  the  old  stock)  as  Cochloeus  himself 
designates  them.  Accordingly,  when  these  young  defenders  of  the 
Reformation  happened  to  come  in  contact,  at  some  public  meeting, 
with  the  Roman  doctors,  they  attacked  them  with  so  much  ease 
and  confidence,  that  the  illiterate  doctors  hesitated,  became  con 
fused,  and  fell,  deservedly,  into  universal  contempt. 

The  ancient  edifice  gave  way  under  the  weight  of  superstition  and 
ignorance,  and  the  new  edifice  was  reared  up  on  the  .basis  of  faith 
and  knowledge.  New  elements  were  introduced  into  common  life. 
Lethargy  and  stupidity  were  every  where  succeeded  by  a  spirit  of 
inquhy  and  thirst  for  instruction.  An  active,  enlightened,  and 
living  faith  took  the  place  of  superstitious  observances  and  ascetic 
contemplation.  Devout  works  succeeded  devotee  practices  and 
penances.  The  pulpit  was  preferred  to  the  ceremonies  of  the 
altar,  and  the  ancient  and  sovereign  authority  of  the  Word  of  God 
was  again  established  in  the  Church. 

Printing,  that  mighty  engine  which  the  fifteenth  century  had 
invented,  seconded  all  these  efforts,  and  by  means  of  its  powerful 
projectiles,  was  continually  making  breaches  in  the  walls  of  the 

In  Germany  an  immense  impulse  was  given  to  popular  litera 
ture.  Up  to  1517,  only  thirty-five  publications  had  appeared; 
but  the  number  increased  with  astonishing  rapidity  after  the  pub 
lication  of  Luther's  theses.  In  1518,  we  find  seventy-one  different 
works;  in  1519,  a  hundred  and  eleven;  in  1520,  two  hundred  and 
eight;  in  1521,  two  hundred  and  eleven;  in  1522,  three  hundred 
and  forty-seven;  in  1523,  four  hundred  and  ninety-eight.  .  . 
And  where  were  all  these  published?  Almost  invariably  at  Wit- 
temberg.  And  who  was  their  author?  Most  frequently,  Luther. 
In  1522,  two  hundred  and  thirty  writings  of  the  Reformer  ap 
peared  ;  and,  in  the  following  year,  one  hundred  and  eighty-three. 
This  same  year,  the  whole  of  the  Catholic  publications  amounted 
only  to  twenty.1  The  literature  of  Germany  was  thus  formed  at 
the  same  time  as  its  religion,  amidst  contention;  and  already 
gave  promise  of  being  learned,  profound,  bold,  and  active,  as  it  has 
since  appeared.  The  national  mind  was  thus  displayed,  for  the 
first  time,  in  an  unsophisticated  form,  and  at  the  very  moment  of  its 
birth  was  baptised  with  the  fire  of  Christian  enthusiasm. 

What  Luther  and  his  friends  composed,  others  disseminated 
Monks,  convinced  of  the  unlawfulness  of  monastic  ties,  desirous  to 
substitute  a  life  of  activity  for  long  idleness,  but  too  ignorant  to  be 
themselves  preachers  of  the  Word,  traversed  the  provinces,  and 

1  Panzer's  Annalen  der  Deutsch.  Litt Ranke's  Deutsch  Gesch.  ii,  p.  79. 

3  g 


visited  the  hamlets  and  huts,  selling  the  works  of  Lather  and  hig 
friends.  Germany  was  soon  covered  with  these  bold  colporteurs.1 
Printers  and  booksellers  eagerly  received  all  the  writings  in  de 
fence  of  the  Reformation,  but  declined  those  of  the  opposite  party, 
which  were  usually  a  mere  compound  of  ignorance  and  barbarism.* 
When  any  one  of  them  ventured  to  sell  a  book  in  favour  of  the 
papacy,  and  to  expose  it  at  fairs,  at  Frankfort,  or  elsewhere, 
dealers,  purchasers,  or  literary  men,  assailed  him  with  a  showei 
of  derision  and  sarcasm.3  In  vain  had  the  emperor  and  the  prince* 
issued  severe  edicts  against  the  writings  of  the  Reformers.  When 
ever  an  inquisitorial  visit  was  to  be  made,  the  merchants,  who  had 
secret  notice  of  it,  concealed  the  books  which  were  proscribed ;  and 
the  people,  always  eager  for  what  is  sought  to  be  kept  from  them, 
afterwards  got  possession  of  these  writings,  and  read  them  more 
greedily  than  before.  These  things  were  not  confined  to  Germany. 
Luther's  writings  were  translated  into  French,  Spanish,  English, 
and  Italian,  and  disseminated  among  these  nations. 


Luther  at  Zwickau — The  Castle  of  Freyberg — Worms — Frankfort — Universal  more, 
ment — Wittemberg,  the  centre  of  the  Reformation — Luther's  sentiments. 

If  the  humblest  individuals  inflicted  such  heavy  blows  on  Rome, 
what  must  it  have  been,  when  the  monk  of  Wittemberg  made  his 
own  voice  be  heard  ?  Shortly  after  the  defeat  of  the  new  prophets, 
Luther,  dressed  as  a  layman,  crossed  the  territory  of  Duke  George 
in  a  car.  His  frock  was  concealed,  and  his  appearance  was  that 
of  an  ordinary  citizen  of  the  country.  Had  he  been  recognised,  or 
had  he  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  angiy  duke,  perhaps  it  would 
have  been  all  over  with  him.  He  was  going  to  preach  at  Zwickau, 
the  cradle  of  the  newprophets.  No  sooner  was  this  known  at  Schnee- 
berg,  Annaberg,  and  the  neighbourhood,  than  crowds  began  to 
flock  to  it.  Fourteen  thousand  persons  arrived  in  the  town,  and  as 
there  was  no  church  capable  of  containing  such  a  multitude,  Luther 
got  up  on  the  balcony  of  the  town-house,  and  preached  to  an 
audience  of  twenty-five  thousand,  who  covered  the  public  square, 

1  Apostatarum.monasteriis  relictis,  infinitus  jam  erat  numerus,  in  speciem  biblio- 
polarum.  (Cochloeus,  p.  54.)  An  infinite  number  of  apostates  who  had  left  their 
monasteries,  now  appeared  in  the  form  of  booksellers.  2  Catholicorum,  velut 

indocta  et  veteris  barbariei  trivialia  scripts,  contemnebant.  (Ibid.)  They  despised  the 
writings  of  the  Catholics  as  unlearned,  or  filled  wi;li  the  trifles  of  ancient  barbarism. 

8  In  publicis  mercatibus  Francofordise  et  alibi,  vexabantur  ac  ridebantur.    (Ibid.) 


some  of  them  seated  on  a  heap  of  building  materials,  which  happened 
to  have  been  laid  down.1  The  servant  of  Christ  was  speaking  with 
fervour  on  the  election  of  grace,  when  suddenly  some  cries  were 
heard  from  the  middle  of  the  audience.  An  old  woman,  with  haggard 
looks,  was  stretching  out  her  bony  arms  from  the  top  of  the  stone 
on  which  she  stood,  and  seemed  desirous,  by  her  earnest  gesture, 
to  keep  back  the  crowd,  who  were  going  to  throw  themselves  at 
the  feet  of  Jesus  Christ.  Her  wild  cries  interrupted  the  preacher. 
Seckendorff  says,  "It  was  the  devil  in  the  shape  of  an  old  woman, 
trying  to  excite  a  disturbance."  2  But  it  was  in  vain :  the  voice 
of  the  Reformer  having  silenced  the  evil  spirit,  thousands  of 
hearers  were  seized  with  a  feeling  of  enthusiasm,  exchanging  looks, 
and  shaking  hands  with  each  other.  The  monks,  struck  dumb, 
could  not  quell  the  storm,  and  shortly  saw  themselves  obliged  to 
quit  Zwickau. 

Duke  Henry,  the  brother  of  Duke  George,  was  residing  in  the 
castle  of  Freyberg.  He  was  married  to  a  princess  of  Mecklenburg, 
who,  the  year  before,  had  given  him  a  son,  named  Maurice.  To  a 
love  of  the  table  and  pleasure,  Henry  joined  the  bluntness  and 
rudeness  of  a  soldier.  He  was,  moreover,  pious,  after  the  fashion 
of  the  times,  and  had  made  one  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land,  and 
another  to  St.  James  of  Compostella.  "  At  Compostella,"  he  was 
wont  to  say,  u  I  placed  a  hundred  gold  florins  on  the  altar  of  the 
saint,  saying  to  him,  0 1  St.  James,  it  was  to  please  you  I  came 
hither ;  I  make  you  a  present  of  this  money :  but  if  those  rogues 
(the  priests)  take  it  from  you,  I  cannot  help  it :  look  then  to  your 
self."  l 

A  Franciscan  and  a  Dominican,  disciples  of  Luther,  had  for  some 
time  been  preaching  the  gospel  at  Freyberg.  The  duchess,  whose 
piety  had  inspired  her  with  a  horror  at  heresy,  listened  to  their 
discourses,  wondering  how  that  sweet  doctrine  of  a  Saviour  could  be 
the  doctrine  which  she  had  been  made  to  dread  so  much.  Her  eyes 
were  gradually  opened,  and  she  found  peace  in  Jesus  Christ.  No 
sooner  did  it  reach  the  ears  of  Duke  George,  that  the  gospel  was 
preached  at  Freyberg,  than  he  prayed  his  brother  to  set  his  face 
against  these  novelties.  Chancellor  Strehlin  and  the  canons 
seconded  him  with  their  fanaticism.  There  was  a  great  explosion 
at  the  court  of  Freyberg.  Duke  Henry  harshly  reprimanded  and 
upbraided  the  pious  duchess,  who,  on  more  than  one  occasion,  shed 
tears  over  the  cradle  of  her  child.  Her  prayers  and  gentleness 
gradually  won  the  duke's  heart ;  the  harshness  of  his  nature  was 

1  Von  dem  Rathhaus  unter  einem  Zulauf  von  25,000  Menschen.    (Seclt.,  p.  539.) 
'  Der  Teufel  indem  er  sich  in  Gestalt  eines  altes  Weibes  ....  (Ibid.)  3  Lassl 

du  dir'tf  die  Buben  nehmen  ....  (Ibic1.,  p.  430.) 


softened ;  and  complete  harmony  was  established  between  the  spouses, 
who  could  now  pray  together  beside  their  son.  A  great  destiny  was 
reserved  for  this  child ;  from  this  cradle,  over  which  a  Christian 
mother  had  so  often  poured  forth  her  griefs,  God  was  one  day  to 
bring  forth  the  defender  of  the  Reformation. 

The  inhabitants  of  Worms  had  been  deeply  moved  by  Luther's 
intrepidity.  The  magistrates  durst  not  contravene  the  imperial 
decree,  and  all  the  churches  were  shut ;  but  in  an  open  space,  covered 
with  an  immense  assemblage,  a  preacher  from  a  pulpit  of  rude 
construction  preached  the  gospel  with  power.  If  the  authorities 
made  their  appearance,  the  crowd  dispersed  in  a  moment,  secretly 
carrying  off  the  pulpit ;  but,  when  the  storm  blew  over,  it  was  im 
mediately  erected  in  some  more  distant  spot,  whither  the  crowd  again 
nocked  to  hear  the  Word  of  Christ.  This  temporary  pulpit  was 
daily  earned  from  place  to  place,  and  served  to  confirm  the  people 
in  the  impression  which  they  had  received  from  the  grand  scene  at 
the  Diet l 

In  one  of  the  free  towns  of  the  empire,  Frankfort  on  the  Maine, 
the  greatest  agitation  prevailed.  Ibach,  a  courageous  evangelist, 
was  there  preaching  salvation  by  Jesus  Christ.  The  clergy,  of 
whom  Cochloeus,  so  well  known  by  his  wri tings  and  his  hatred,  was 
one,  enraged  at  this  audacious  colleague,  denounced  him  to  the  Arch 
bishop  of  Mentz.  The  council,  though  timid,  tried  to  defend  him, 
but  in  vain:  he  was  deposed  by  the  clergy  and  banished.  Rome 
triumphed,  and  all  seemed  lost.  The  faithful  in  humble  life  thought 
themselves  for  ever  deprived  of  the  Word.  But  at  the  moment  when 
the  citizens  seemed  disposed  to  yield  to  those  tyrannical  priests, 
several  of  the  nobility  declared  in  favour  of  the  gospel.  Max  of 
Molnheim,  Harmuth  of  Cronberg,  George  of  Stockheim,  Emerick  of 
Reiffenstein,  whose  estates  were  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Frank 
fort,  wrote  to  the  council,  "We  are  constrained  to  oppose  these 
wolves."  In  an  address  to  the  clergy,  they  say,  "  Embrace  the 
evangelical  doctrine,  recal  Ibach,  or  we  will  withhold  our  tithes  ..." 

The  people  who  relished  the  Reformed  doctrine  were  embold 
ened  by  this  language  of  the  nobles ;  and,  one  day,  when  Peter 
Mayer,  the  priest  most  opposed  to  the  Reformation  and  the  per- 
secuter  of  Ibach,  was  going  to  preach  against  the  heretics,  a  great 
tumult  suddenly  arose.  Mayer  took  fright,  and  rushed  out  of  the 
church.  This  commotion  decided  the  Council,  who  issued  an  order 
enjoining  all  preachers  simply  to  preach  the  Word  of  God,  or  quit 
the  town. 

The  light  which  had  radiated  from  Wittemberg  as  its  centre, 
was  thus  diffused  over  the  whole  empire.  In  the  west, — the  dis- 

1  So  liessen  sie  eine  Canzel  machen,  die  man  von  einem  Ort  zum  andern  .... 
Seek.,  p.  436.) 


tricts  of  Berg,  Cleves,  Lippstadt,  Minister,  Wesel,  Miltenberg, 
Mentz,  Deux-Ponts,  and  Strasburgh,  heard  the  gospel.  In  the 
south, — Hof,  Schlesstadt,  Baniberg,  Esslingen,  Hall  in  Suabia,  Heil- 
bronn,  Augsburg,  Ulm,  and  may  other  places  hailed  it  with  joy. 
In  the  east, — the  duchy  of  Liegnitz,  Prussia,  and  Pomerania  opened 
their  gates  to  it.  In  the  north, — Brunswick,  Halberstadt,  Gosslar, 
Zell,  Friesland,  Bremen,  Hamburgh,  Holstein,  and  even  Denmark 
and  other  neighbouring  countries  were  moved  at  the  sound  of  the 
new  doctrine. 

The  Elector  had  declared  that  he  would  give  the  bishops  full 
liberty  to  preach  in  his  States,  but  that  he  would  not  deliver  any 
person  up  to  them.  Accordingly  the  evangelical  preachers,  per 
secuted  in  other  countries,  soon  began  to  take  refuge  in  Saxony. 
Ibach  of  Frankfort,  Eberlin  of  Ulm,  Kauxdorf  of  Magdeburg,  Val 
entine  Musteus,  whom  the  canons  of  Halberstadt  had  horribly 
mutilated,1  and  other  faithful  ministers  from  all  parts  of  Germany, 
flocked  to  Wittemberg  as  the  only  asylum  in  which  they  could  feel 
secure.  There,  by  intercourse  with  the  Reformers,  they  had  their 
own  faith  strengthened,  and  communicated  the  results  of  their  ex 
perience  and  of  the  light  which  they  had  received ;  just  as  the  water 
of  rivers  is  brought  back  by  the  clouds  from  the  boundless  ocean, 
to  feed  the  glaciers  from  which  it  formerly  flowed  into  the  plain. 

The  work,  which  was  in  course  of  development  at  Wittemberg, 
thus  composed  of  many  different  elements,  was  constantly  becoming 
more  and  more  the  work  of  the  nation — of  Europe — of  Christendom. 
This  school,  founded  by  Frederick,  and  animated  by  Luther,  was  the 
centre  of  the  vast  revolution  which  was  renewing  the  Church,  and 
imprinted  on  it  a  real  and  living  unity,  far  superior  to  the  appa 
rent  unity  of  Rome,  The  Bible  reigned  at  Wittemberg,  and  its 
oracles  were  every  where  heard.  This  university,  the  most  recent 
of  all,  had  acquired,  in  Christendom,  the  rank  and  influence  which 
had  hitherto  belonged  to  the  ancient  university  of  Paris.  The 
crowds  who  flocked  to  it  from  every  part  of  Europe,  told  the  wants 
of  the  Church  and  the  nations,  and,  on  quitting  its  walls,  now  be 
come  sacred  in  their  eyes,  carried  back  to  the  Church  and  to  the 
people  the  word  of  grace,  destined  to  cure  and  save  the  nations. 

Luther,  at  the  sight  of  this  success,  felt  his  courage  strengthened. 
He  saw  a  feeble  enterprise,  begun  amid  numerous  fears  and  agonies, 
changing  the  face  of  the  Christian  world,  and  he  was  astonished. 

1  Aliquot  ministri  canonicorum  capiunt  D.  Valentinum  Mustseum  et  vinctum 
manibus  pediljusque,  injecto  in  ejus  os  freno,  deferunt  per  trabes  in  inferiores  coeno- 
bii  partes,  ibique  in  cella  cerevisiaria  eum  castrant.  (Hamelmann.  Hist,  renati  Evan- 
gelii,  p.  880.)  Some  servants  of  the  canons  lay  hold  of  Valentine  Musteus,  and,  after 
tying  his  hands  and  feet,  and  fragging  him,  carry  him  on  a  barrow  to  the  lower  vaults 
of  the  monastery,  and  there,  in  a  cell,  mutilated  him.  . 


He  had  foreseen  nothing  of  the  kind  when  he  first  rose  up  against 
Tezel.  Prostrating  himself  before  the  God  whom  he  adored,  he 
acknowledged  that  this  work  was  His  work,  and  he  triumphed  in 
the  conviction  of  having  gained  a  victory  which  could  not  again  be 
wrested  from  him.  "  Our  enemies  threaten  us  with  deathy" 
said  he  to  the  Chevalier  Harmuth  of  Cronberg,  "had  they  as  much 
wisdom  as  they  have  folly,  it  would,  on  the  contrary,  be  life  that 
they  would  threaten  us  with.  It  is  not  mere  jest  or  insult  to 
threaten  Christ  and  Christians  with  death,  in  other  words,  those 
who  are  the  masters  and  the  conquerors  of  death.1  It  is  as  if  I 
were  to  try  to  frighten  a  man  by  saddling  his  steed  and  helping 
him  to  mount  it.  Do  they  not  know,  then,  that  Christ  is  risen  from 
the  dead  ?  As  to  them,  he  is  still  lying  in  the  sepulchre.  Where 
do  I  say?  In  hell.  But  we,  we  know  that  he  lives !"  He  was 
indignant  at  the  idea  of  being  regarded  as  the  author  of  a  work, 
in  the  minutest  details  of  which,  he  recognised  the  hand  of  God. 
"  Several,"  said  he,  "  believe  on  my  account ;  but  those  only  are  in 
the  truth  who  would  remain  faithful,  though  they  were  to  believe 
(which  God  forbid)  that  I  had  denied  Jesus  Christ.  The  true 
disciples  believe  not  in  Luther,  but  in  Jesus  Christ.  For  my  own 
part,  I  care  not  for  Luther.2  Be  he  saint,  or  be  he  rogue,  what  is 
it  to  me  ?  It  is  not  him  I  preach,  it  is  Christ.  If  the  devil  can 
take  him,  let  him  take  him.  But  let  Christ  remain  with  us,  and  we 
shall  remain  also." 

In  fact  it  were  vain  to  attempt  to  explain  this  movement  by 
natural  means.  The  literati,  it  is  true,  whetted  their  pens,  and 
threw  sharp  darts  at  the  monks  and  the  pope :  the  cry  of  free 
dom,  which  Germany  had  so  often  raised  against  the  tyranny  of 
the  Italians,  again  resounded  in  castles  and  provinces  :  the  people 
rejoiced  when  they  heard  the  notes  of  the  "  nightingale  of  Wittem- 
berg,"  a  pressage  of  the  spring  which  was  every  where  beginning 
to  bud.3  But  the  movement  which  was  then  taking  place  was 
not  similar  to  that  which  a  longing  for  earthly  freedom  produces. 
Those  who  say  that  the  Keformation  was  produced  by  offering  the 
property  of  convents  to  princes,  marriage  to  priests,  and  liberty  to 
the  people,  strangely  misapprehend  its  nature.  No  doubt,  a  use 
ful  employment  of  the  funds  which  had  till  then  fostered  the 
idleness  of  monks,  no  doubt  marriage  and  liberty,  both  of  them 
gifts  from  God,  might  favour  the  development  of  the  Reformation, 
but  the  moving  force  was  not  there.  An  internal  revolution  was 
then  produced  in  the  depths  of  the  human  heart.  The  Christian 
people  again  learned  to  love,  forgive,  pray,  suffer,  and  even  die  for 

1  Herren  und  Seigmanner  des  Todes.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  164.)  2  Ich  kenne  auch 

selbst  nicht  den  Luther.     (Ibid.,  p.  168.)  *  Wittemberger  Nachtigal,  a  collection 

ol  poetry  by  Hans  Sachs,  1523. 


a  truth  which  promised  repose  only  in  heaven.  The  Church  was 
transformed.  Christianity  burst  the  swathes  which  had  so  long 
enwrapt  it,  and  again  returned  full  of  life  to  a  world  which  had 
forgotten  its  ancient  power.  The  hand  which  made  the  world  was 
again  at  work  upon  it,  and  the  gospel  re-appearing  amidst  the 
nations,  pursued  its  course  in  spite  of  the  powerful  and  reiterated 
efforts  of  kings  and  priests,  in  the  same  way  as  the  ocean,  when 
the  hand  of  God  presses  on  its  waves,  rises  calmly  and  majestically 
along  the  shore,  while  no  human  power  is  capable  of  arresting  its 


CHAP.  I. 


Political  element— Wa»t  of  Enthusiasm  at  Rome— Siege  of  Pampeluna— Courage 
of  Inigo— -Transformation— Luther  and  Loyola— Visions— The  two  principles. 

The  Keformation,  which  at  first  had  existed  only  in  the  heart  of 
some  pious  individuals,  had  entered  the  worship  and  life  of  the 
Church.  It  was  natural  for  it  to  take  a  new  step — to  penetrate 
into  civil  relations  and  the  movements  of  nations.  Its  progress 
was  invariably  from  within  to  without.  We  shall  now  see  this 
great  revolution  taking  its  place  in  the  political  world. 

For  nearly  eight  centuries  Europe  formed  a  vast  sacerdotal 
state.  Emperors  and  kings  were  under  the  patronage  of  popes. 
Though  there  had  been  in  France  and  especially  in  Germany  ener 
getic  resistance  to  audacious  claims,  Eome  had  finally  succeeded, 
and  princes  had  been  seen  acting  as  the  docile  executioners  of  her 
horrible  judgments,  fighting  in  order  to  secure  her  empire  against 
private  Christians  subject  to  their  sway,  and  on  her  account  pro 
fusely  shedding  the  blood  of  their  people. 

ISTo  assault  could  be  made  on  this  vast  ecclesiastical  state,  of 
which  the  pope  was  the  head,  without  powerfully  affecting  politi 
cal  relations. 

At  this  time  two  great  ideas  agitated  Germany :  on  the  one 
hand,  a  renovation  of  faith  was  desired;  on  the  other,  a  national 
government,  in  which  the  Germanic  states  should  be  represented, 
and  a  counterpoise  thereby  formed  to  the  power  of  the  emperors.1 

The  Elector  Frederick  had  insisted  on  this  at  the  election  which 
had  given  a  successor  to  Maximilian,  and  young  Charles  had  ac 
ceded  to  it.  A  national  government,  consisting  of  the  emperor 

i  Pfeffel.  Droit  publ.  de  1'All.,  590.— Robertson's  Charles  V,  iii,  114.— Ranke,  Deui 
sche  Gesch. 


and  the  representatives  of  the  electors,  and  circles  had  in  conse 
quence  been  formed. 

Thus  Luther  reformed  the  Church,  and  Frederick  of  Saxony 
reformed  the  state. 

But  while  in  correspondence  to  the  religious  reform,  important 
political  modifications  were  introduced  by  the  heads  of  the  nation, 
there  was  a  danger  that  "  the  commonalty  "  might  also  begin  tc 
move,  and,  by  religious  and  political  excesses,  compromise  both 

This  violent  and  fanatical  intrusion  of  the  populace  and  certain 
of  their  leaders,  which  seems  inevitable  whenever  society  is  shaken 
and  transformed,  failed  not  to  be  manifested  in  Germany  at  the 
time  of  which  we  now  treat. 

There  were  other  causes  besides  which  gave  rise  to  these  agita 

The  emperor  and  the  pope  had  leagued  against  the  Reforma 
tion,  which  seemed  destined  to  fall  under  the  blows  of  such  mighty 
adversaries.  Policy,  interest,  and  ambition,  prompted  Charles  V 
and  Leo  X  to  attempt  its  destruction.  But  these  are  poor  cham 
pions  against  the  truth.  Devotedness  to  a  cause,  which  is  regard 
ed  as  sacred,  can  only  be  overcome  by  counter  devotedness.  Now 
Rome,  docile  to  the  impulse  of  Leo  X,  was  enthusiastic  for  a  son 
net  or  a  melody,  but  insensible  to  the  religion  of  Jesus  Christ. 
Even  when  visited  with  some  less  frivolous  thought,  instead  of 
purifying  herself  and  returning  to  the  Christianity  of  the  Apostles, 
she  became  engrossed  with  alliances,  wars,  conquests,  treaties,  un 
der  which  she  might  save  her  provinces,  while  with  cool  disdain 
she  left  the  Reformation  to  revive  religious  enthusiasm,  and  move 
forward  in  triumph  to  still  nobler  conquests.  The  enemy,  whose 
destruction  had  been  vowed  in  the  cathedral  of  Worms,  presented 
himself,  full  of  courage  and  might :  the  struggle  behoved  to  be  keen  ; 
blood  must  flow. 

Meanwhile,  some  of  the  most  pressing  dangers  with  which  the 
Reformation  was  threatened  seemed  to  diminish.  One  day,  before 
the  publication  of  the  edict  of  Worms,  young  Charles,  when  stand 
ing  at  a  window  with  his  confessor,  had  said,  putting  his  right  hand 
upon  his  heart,  "  I  swear  that  I  will  cause  the  first  person,  who,  after 
the  publication  of  my  edict,  will  declare  himself  a  Lutheran,  to  be 
hung  at  this  window."1  But  ere  long  his  zeal  had  become  greatly 
cooled.  His  project  of  re-establishing  the  ancient  glory  of  the 
holy  empire  had  been  received  with  coldness.2  Dissatisfied  with 

1  Sanctejuro.  .  .  .  eura  ex  hac  fenestra  meo  jussu  suspensum  iri.  (Pallavi 
cini,  i,  p.  130.)  2  Essendo  tomato  dalla  Dieta  che  sua  Maesta  haveva  fatta  in 

Wormatia  escluso  d'ogni  conclusion  buona  d'ajuti  e  di  favori  che  si  fussi  proposto 
d'ottenere  in  essa.  (Instruttione  al  Card.  Farnese.  M.S.  in  the  Bibl.  Corsini,  pub 
lished  bv  Ranke.) 



Germany,  he  quitted  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  proceeded  to  the  Low 
Countries,  and  took  advantage  of  the  period  of  his  residence  there 
to  give  the  monks  some  gratifications,  which  he  found  himself  un 
able  to  grant  them  within  the  empire.  Luther's  works  were  burnt 
at  Ghent  by  the  hands  of  the  executioner  with  all  possible  solem 
nity.  More  than  fifty  thousand  spectators  were  present  at  this 
auto-da-fe,  and  the  emperor  himself  countenanced  it  with  an  ap 
proving  smile.1  He  next  proceeded  to  Spain,  when  wars  and 
troubles  compelled  him,  for  some  time  at  least,  to  let  Germany 
alone.  Since  the  power  which  he  claims  in  the  empire  is  refused,  let 
others  pursue  the  heretic  of  Wittemberg.  He  is  engrossed  by 
graver  cares. 

In  fact,  Francis  I,  impatient  to  come  to  blows  with  his  rival, 
had  thrown  down  the  gauntlet.  Under  the  pretext  of  reinstating 
the  children  of  John  of  Albert,  king  of  Navarre,  in  their  patri 
mony,  he  had  begun  a  long  and  bloody  struggle,  which  was  to  last 
as  long  as  his  life,  by  sending  into  that  kingdom,  under  the  com 
mand  of  Lesparre,  an  army,  whose  rapid  conquests  were  not  ar 
rested  till  they  arrived  before  the  fortress  of  Pampeluna. 

On  these  strong  fortifications  an  enthusiasm  was  to  be  kindled, 
which  should  one  day  oppose  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Eeformer,  and 
breathe  into  the  papacy  a  new  spirit  of  energy,  devotedness,  and 
power.  Pampeluna  was  to  be  the  cradle  of  the  rival  of  the 
monk  of  Wittemberg. 

The  chivalric  spirit  which  had  so  long  animated  the  Christian 
world  now  existed  only  in  Spain.  The  wars  against  the  Moors 
scarcely  ended  in  the  Peninsula  and  still  constantly  renewed  in 
Africa,  distant  and  adventurous  expeditions  in  foreign  lands,  kept 
alive  in  the  Castilian  youth  that  enthusiastic  and  spirited  valour 
of  which  Amadis  had  been  the  beau  ideal. 

Among  the  defenders  of  Pampeluna  was  a  young  gentleman 
named  Don  Inigo  Lopez  of  Recalde,  the  cadet  of  a  family  of  thir 
teen  children.  Brought  up  at  the  court  of  Ferdinand  the  Catholic, 
Recalde,  richly  endowed  with  personal  graces,2  skilful  in  the  use  of 
the  sword  and  the  lance,  was  ardent  in  the  pursuit  of  chivalric  re 
nown.  To  deck  himself  in  glittering  armour,  to  mount  a  noble 
steed,3  to  expose  himself  to  the  brilliant  dangers  of  a  tournay,  to 
run  hazardous  adventures,  to  take  part  in  the  impassioned  debates 
of  factions,4  and  display  as  much  devotion  to  St.  Peter  as  to  his 
mistress — such  was  the  life  of  this  young  knight.  The  governor 

1  Ipso  Csesare,  ore  subridenti,  spectaculo  plausit.    (Pallavicini,  i,  p.  130.) 
3  Cum  esset  en  corporis  ornatu  elegantissimus.     (Maffaei,  Vita  Loyolae,  1586,  p.  8.) 
*  Equorumque  et  armorum  usu  praecelleret.    (Ibid.)  *  Partim  in  factionum 

rirarumque  periculis,  partim  inamatoria  vesania  .  .  .  tempus  consumeret,  (Ibid.) 
Spent  his  time  partly  in  the  perils  of  brawls  and  factious,  and  partly  in  amours. 


of  Navarre  having  gone  into  Spain  to  ask  assistance,  had  left  Pam- 
peluna  in  the  charge  of  Inigo  and  a  few  nobles.  The  latter,  seeing 
the  superiority  of  the  French  troops,  resolved  to  withdraAv.  Inigo 
conjured  them  to  make  head  against  Lesparre.  Finding  that  their 
purpose  could  not  be  shaken,  he  turned  upon  them  with  looks  of 
indignation,  accused  them  of  cowardice  and  perfidy,  and  then  threw 
himself  single  handed  into  the  fortress,  determined  to  defend  it  at 
the  cost  of  his  life.1 

The  French,  who  had  met  with  an  enthusiastic  reception  in  Fam- 
peluna,  having  summoned  the  governor  of  the  citadel  to  capitu 
late,  "  Let  us,"  said  the  fiery  Inigo  to  his  companions,  "  bear  any 
thing  sooner  than  surrender."  2  The  French  began  to  batter  the 
walls  with  their  powerful  engines,  and  soon  after  attempted  an 
assault.  The  Spaniards,  animated  by  the  courage  and  words  of 
Inigo,  repulsed  the  assailants  with  their  arrows,  swords,  and  hal- 
berts.  Inigo  fought  at  their  head.  Standing  on  the  wall  with 
blazing  eye,  the  young  knight  brandishing  his  sword,  dealt  blows 
on  the  enemy.  All  at  once  a  bullet  struck  the  wall  at  the  place 
where  he  was  defending;  a  shivered  stone  severely  wounded  the 
knight  in  his  right  leg,  and  the  shot,  in  rebounding,  broke  his  left. 
Inigo  fell  insensible.3  The  garrison  immediately  surrendered,  and 
the  French,  filled  with  admiration  at  the  courage  of  their  young 
opponent,  caused  him  to  be  earned  in  a  litter  to  his  friends  and  pa 
rents  in  the  Castle  of  Loyola.  In  this  seignorial  mansion,  from  which 
he  afterwards  took  his  name,  Inigo  was  born,  eight  years  after 
Luther,  of  one  of  the  most  distinguished  families  in  the  kingdom. 

A  painful  operation  had  become  necessary.  Amidst  the  most 
acute  sufferings,  Inigo  clenched  his  hands,  but  did  not  utter  a  single 

Constrained  to  a  painful  repose,  he  behoved  somehow  to  em 
ploy  his  lively  fancy.  In  the  absence  of  romances  of  chivalry, 
which  he  had  hitherto  been  accustomed  to  devour,  he  was  furnish 
ed  with  the  Life  of  Christ,  and  the  Flowers  of  the  Saints.  This 
reading,  in  his  solitary  and  sickly  condition,  produced  an  extraor 
dinary  impression  on  his  mind.  He  thought  he  saw  the  noisy  life 
of  tournaments  and  battles,  which  till  then  had  completely  engross 
ed  his  youth,  withdrawn,  effaced,  and  extinguished,  and,  at  the 
same  time,  a  more  glorious  career  opened  on  his  astonished  sight. 
The  humble  actions  of  the  saints  and  their  heroic  sufferings  sud 
denly  appeared  to  him  more  deserving  of  praise  than  all  the  feats 

1  Ardentibus  oculis,  detestatus  ignaviam  perfidiamque,  spectantibus  omnibus,  in 
arcem  solus  introit.    (Maffsei,  Vita  Loyolse,  1586,  p.  6.)  2  Tarn  acri  ac  vehement! 

oratione  commilitonibus  dissuasit.    (Ibid.)  »  Ut  e  restigio  semianimis  alienate 

mente  cori";erit    (Ibid.)  *  Nullum  aliud  indicium  dedit  dolor's,  nisi  «t 

coftctus  in  pugnum  digitos  valde  constringeret.    (Ibid.) 


of  chivalry.  Stretched  on  his  feverish  bed,  he  gave  himself  up  to 
the  most  contradictory  thoughts.  The  world  which  he  was  aban 
doning,  and  the  other  whose  holy  macerations  he  was  welcoming,  ap 
peared  to  him  at  the  same  moment,  the  one  with  its  pleasures,  the 
other  with  its  severities.  These  two  worlds  carried  on  a  fierce  combat 
in  his  soul.  "  What,"  said  he,  "if  I  were  to  do  what  St.  Francis  or 
St.  Dominic  have  done  ?  " 1  Then  the  image  of  the  mistress  to  whom 
he  had  devoted  his  heart  presenting  itself  to  his  imagination,  he 
exclaimed  with  natural  vanity,  "She  is  not  a  countess,  she  is  not  a 
duchess  ;  but  she  is  more."  2  But  these  thoughts  left  a  feeling  of 
bitterness  and  weariness,  whereas  his  plan  of  imitating  the  saints 
filled  him  with  peace  and  joy. 

From  that  time  his  choice  was  fixed.  When  scarcely  recovered,  he 
resolved  to  bid  adieu  to  the  world.  After  having,  like  Luther,  par 
taken  of  an  entertainment  with  his  companions  in  arms,  he  set  out 
alone,3  in  the  greatest  secrecy,  for  the  solitary  abodes  which  the 
hermits  of  St.  Benedict  had  hewn  out  in  the  rock  in  the  mountains 
of  Montserrat.  Urged  on,  not  by  a  conviction  of  his  sins  or  the  need 
of  divine  grace,  but  by  a  longing  to  become  the  "  knight  of  Mary," 
and  gain  renown  by  mortifications  and  pious  works,  like  all  the 
army  of  the  saints,  he  confessed  during  three  days,  gave  his  rich 
clothing  to  a  beggar,  put  on  sackcloth,  and  girded  himself  with  a 
cord.4  Then  calling  to  mind  the  celebrated  vigil  of  Amadis  of 
Gaul,  he  hung  up  his  sword  before  an  image  of  Mary,  and  passed 
the  night  watching  in  his  new  and  strange  costume.  Sometimes  on 
his  knees,  sometimes  standing,  but  always  in  prayer,  and  with  the 
pilgrim's  staff  in  his  hand,  he  employed  himself  in  all  the  devout  ex 
ercises  which  Amadis  of  Gaul  had  of  old  performed.  "  Thus,"  ob 
serves  the  Jesuit,  Maffei,  one  of  the  biographers  of  the  saint,  "  while 
Satan  was  arming  Martin  Luther  against  all  laAvs,  human  and  divine, 
and  while  this  infamous  heresiarch  was  appearing  at  Worms,  and 
there  declaring  impious  war  on  the  apostolic  see,  Christ,  in  the 
exercise  of  his  divine  providence,  was  raising  up  this  new  cham 
pion,  and  binding  him — him,  and  at  a  later  period,  all  his  followers, 
— to  the  service  of  the  Eoman  pontiff,  opposing  him  to  the  licen 
tiousness  and  fury  of  heretical  perverseness."  5 

Loyola,  still  lame  in  one  leg,  dragged  along  through  winding 
and  desert  paths  to  Maiiresa,  and  there  entered  a  convent   of 

1  Quid  si  ego  hoc  agerem  quod  fecit  b.  Franciscus,  quid  si  hoc  quod  b.  Dominicus  ? 
(Acta  Sanct.,  vii,  p.  634.)  2  Non  era  condessa,  ni  duquessa,  ma  era  su  estado 

mas  alto  ....  (Ibid.)  3  Ibi  duce  amicisque  ita  salutatis,  ut  arcana  consiliorum 

suorum  quam  accuratissime  tegeret.  (Maf.,  p.  16.)  Then  having  saluted  his  com 
mander  and  friends  so  as  most  carefully  to  hide  his  secret  plans.  *  Fretiosa 
vestimenta  quibus  erat  ornatus,  pannoso  cuidam  largitus,  sacco  sese  alacer  induit  ac 
fune  praecinxit.  (Ibid.,  p.  20.)  6  Furori  ac  libidini  heretic*  pravitatis  op- 
poneret.  (Ibid.,  p,  21.) 


Dominicans,  that  he  might  devote  himself,  in  this  obscure  spot,  to 
the  severest  penances.  Like  Luther,  he  daily  begged  his  bread 
from  door  to  door.1  He  remained  seven  hours  on  his  knees,  and 
flagellated  himself  thrice  every  day  ;  at  midnight  he  was  again  at 
prayer.  He  allowed  his  hair  and  nails  to  grow,  and  it  would  have 
been  impossible  to  recognise  the  young  and  brilliant  knight  of  Pam- 
peluna  in  the  pale  wan  monk  of  Manresa. 

Meanwhile,  the  moment  had  arrived,  when  the  religious  ideas 
which  had  hitherto  been  to  Inigo  merely  a  sport  of  chivalry, 
were  to  reveal  themselves  to  him  with  greater  seriousness,  and 
make  him  feel  a  power  of  which  he  was  still  ignorant.  Suddenly, 
without  any  presentiment  of  what  was  to  happen,  the  joy  which  he 
had  hitherto  experienced  disappeared.2  In  vain  did  he  apply  to 
prayer  and  the  singing  of  hymns — he  could  find  no  rest.3  His 
imagination  had  ceased  to  surround  him  with  amiable  illusions : 
he  was  left  alone  with  his  conscience.  He  could  not  comprehend 
a  state  which  was  so  novel  to  him ;  and  he  asked,  in  alarm,  whe 
ther  God,  for  whom  he  had  made  so  many  sacrifices,  was  still 
angry  with  him.  Night  and  day  terrors  agitated  his  soul :  he 
shed  bitter  tears,  and  with  loud  cries  called  for  the  peace  which  he 
had  lost  ....  but  all  in  vain.4  He  then  resumed  the  long  con 
fession  which  he  had  made  at  Montserr^t.  "It  may  be,"  thought 
he,  "I  have  forgotten  something."  But  the  confession  only  in 
creased  his  agony,  by  reminding  him  of  all  his  faults.  He  wan 
dered  gloomy  and  depressed :  his  conscience  cried  aloud,  that  dur 
ing  his  whole  life  he  had  done  nothing  but  heaped  sin  upon  sin; 
and  the  unhappy  man,  overwhelmed  with  terror,  made  the  cloister 
echo  with  his  groans. 

Strange  thoughts  then  found  admission  into  his  heart.  Ex 
periencing  no  comfort  in  confession  and  the  various  ordinances  or 
the  Church,5  he  began,  like  Luther,  to  doubt  their  efficacy. 
But,  instead  of  turning  aside  from  human  works  and  applying  to 
the  all-sufficient  work  of  Christ,  he  asked  if  he  ought  not  again 
to  pursue  worldly  glory.  His  soul  darted  impetuously  towards  the 
world  from  which  he  had  fled ; 6  but  he  immediately  drew  back  in 

Was  there,  then,  some  difference  between  the  monk  of  Manresa 

1  Victum  ostiatim  precibus  infimis  emendicare  quotidie.  (Maf.  p.  23.)  2  Tune 

subito  nulla  pnecedente  significatione  prorsus  exui  nudarique  se  omni  gaudio  sen- 
tiret.  (Ibid.  p.  27.  Then,  suddenly,  without  any  previous  warning,  he  felt  himselr 
divested  of  all  joy.  3  Nee  jam  in  precibus,  neque  in  psalmis.  .  .  .  ullam 

inveniret  delectationem  ant  requiem.  (Ibid.)  Nor  could  he  now  find  any  delight,  or 
rest  i>i  prayers  or  psalms.  4  Vanis  agitari  terroribus,  dies  noctesque  fletibus 

jungere  (Ibid.  p.  28.)  He  was  agitated  by  vain  terrors,  weeping  night  and  day. 

5  Ut  nulla  jam  res  mitigare  dolorem  posve  videretur.  (Ibid.  p.  29.)  That  now 
nothing  seemed  able  to  mitigate  his  pain.  6  Et  sseculi  commodis  repetendismaguo 
quodam  impetu  cogitaverit.  (Ibid.  p.  30.) 


and  the  monk  of  Erfurth?  In  secondary  features,  doubtless,  thero 
was,  but  the  state  of  their  souls  was  the  same.  Both  had  a  deep 
conviction  of  the  magnitude  of  their  sins.  Both  sought  reconcilia 
tion  with  God,  and  wished  to  have  the  assurance  of  it  in  their 
hearts.  Had  a  Staupitz,  with  the  Bible  in  his  hand,  presented 
himself  at  the  convent  of  Manresa,  Inigo  might,  perhaps,  have  be 
come  the  Luther  of  the  Peninsula.  These  two  great  men  of  the 
sixteenth  century — these  two  founders  of  the  two  spiritual  powers, 
which,  for  three  hundred  years,  have  been  waning  with  each  other, 
were  at  this  time  brethren;  and,  perhaps,  had  they  met,  Luther 
and  Loyola  would  have  fallen  into  each  other's  arms,  and  mingled 
their  tears  and  their  vows. 

But  these  two  monks  were,  from  this  moment,  to  follow  very 
different  paths. 

Inigo,  instead  of  perceiving  that  his  remorse  was  sent  to  urge 
him  to  the  foot  of  the  cross,  persuaded  himself  that  these  internal 
upbraidings  came  not  from  God,  but  from  the  devil ;  and  adopted 
the  resolution  of  thinking  no  more  of  his  sins,  of  effacing  them, 
and  consigning  them  to  eternal  oblivion.1  Luther  turned  toward 
Christ,  Loyola  only  fell  back  upon  himself. 

Inigo  was  shortly  after  confirmed  in  the  conclusion  at  which  he 
had  arrived,  by  visions.  His  own  resolutions  had  been  substituted 
for  the  grace  of  Christ,  and  his  own  imagination  for  the  Word  of 
Christ.  The  voice  of  God,  in  his  conscience,  he  had  regarded  as 
the  voice  of  a  demon ;  and,  accordingly,  his  future  history  exhibits 
him  as  given  up  to  the  inspirations  of  the  spirit  of  darkness. 

One  day  Loyola  met  an  old  woman,  just  as  Luther,  in  the  time 
of  his  agony,  had  been  visited  by  an  old  man.  But  the  Spanish 
female,  instead  of  telling  the  penitent  of  Manresa  of  the  remission 
of  sins,  foretold  him  of  apparitions  of  Jesus.  Such  was  the  Chris 
tianity  to  which  Loyola,  like  the  prophets  of  Zwickau,  had  recourse. 
Inigo  did  not  seek  the  truth  in  the  Holy  Scriptures,  but  in  their 
stead  imagined  immediate  communications  from  the  kingdom  of 
spirits.  His  life  soon  consisted  only  of  extacies  and  contempla 

One  day,  while  going  to  the  church  of  St.  Paul,  which  is  situated 
outside  the  town,  plunged  in  meditation,  he  followed  the  banks  of 
the  Llobregat.  At  last  he  sat  down.  His  eyes  were  fixed  on  the 
river,  which  was  slowly  rolling  its  deep  waters  at  his  feet,  and  he 
became  completely  absorbed  in  meditation.  Suddenly  he  was 
seized  with  extacy:  he  saw,  with  his  eyes,  what  men  scarcely 

1  Sine  ulla  dubitatione  constituit  prseteritse  vttce  labes  perpetua  oblivione  conterere, 
(Maf.  p-  31.)  He  unhesitatingly  resolved  to  bury  the  pollutions  of  his  past  life  in  per. 
petual  oblivion. 


comprehend,  after  much  reading,  watching,  and  labour.1  He  rose 
up,  stood  on  the  brink  of  the  river,  and  seemed  to  himself  to  be 
come  a  new  man :  he  afterwards  put  himself  upon  his  knees  before 
a  cross,  which  happened  to  be  in  the  neighbourhood,  disposed  to 
sacrifice  his  life  in  the  cause,  the  mysteries  of  which  had  just  been 
revealed  to  him. 

From  that  time  his  visions  became  more  frequent.  One  day, 
while  seated  on  the  stair  of  St.  Dominic,  at  Manresa,.  he  was  sing 
ing  hymns  to  the  Holy  Virgin.  Suddenly  his  soul  was  seized  with 
extacy ;  he  remained  motionless,  absorbed  in  contemplation ;  the 
mystery  of  the  Holy  Trinity  was  revealed  to  his  eyes  under  mag 
nificent  symbols.2  Pie  shed  tears,  sobbed  aloud;  and  during  the 
whole  day  ceased  not  to  speak  of  the  ineffable  vision. 

These  numerous  apparitions  had  dissipated  all  his  doubts.  Un 
like  Luther,  he  believed,  not  because  the  things  of  faith  were  written 
in  the  Word  of  God,  but  in  consequence  of  the  visions  which  he  had 
seen.  "  Even  though  there  had  been  no  Bible,"  say  his  apologists, 
"  even  had  these  mysteries  never  been  revealed  in  Scripture,3  he 
would  have  believed  them,  for  God  had  been  unveiled  to  him."  * 
Luther,  on  receiving  his  degree  of  doctor,  had  taken  an  oath  to  the 
Holy  Scriptures,  and  the  authority  of  the  Word  of  God,  the  only 
infallible  authority,  had  become  the  fundamental  principle  of  the 
Reformation.  Loyola  took  his  oath  to  dreams  and  visions  ;  and 
fantastical  apparitions  became  the  principle  of  his  life  and  of  his 

The  residence  of  Luther  in  the  convent  of  Erfurth,  and  that  of 
Loyola  in  the  convent  of  Manresa,  explain  to  us  respectively  the 
Reformation  and  the  modern  papacy.  We  shall  not  follow  the  monk 
who  was  to  re-animate  the  exhausted  powers  of  Rome  to  Jerusa 
lem,  whither  he  repaired  on  quitting  the  cloister.  We  shall  meet 
with  him  again  in  the  course  of  this  history. 


Tictory  of  the  Pop&— Death  of  Leo  X— Oratory  of  Divine  Love— Adrian  VI— Schemes 
of  Reform — Opposition. 

While  these  things  were  passing  in  Spain,  Rome  herself  seemed 
to  assume  a  more  serious  character.    The  great  patron  of  music, 

1  Quse  vix  demum  solent  homines  intelligent  comprehendere.    (Maf.  p.  32.) 
3  En  figuras  de  tres  teclas.  3  Quod  etsi  nu]la  scriptura,  mysteria  ilia  fidei 

doceret.  (Acta  Sancta.)  For,  were  there  no  scripture,  he  would  teach  these  mysteries 
of  faith.  *  Quae  Deo  sibi  aperiente  cognoverat.    (Maf.  p.  34.) 

106  DEATH  OF  LEO  X. 

hunting,  and  festivity  disappeared  from  the  pontifical  throne  to 
give  place  to  a  grave  and  pious  monk. 

Leo  X  had  felt  great  delight  on  hearing  of  the  edict  of  Worms, 
and  the  captivity  of  Luther,  and  forthwith,  as  a  token  of  his 
victory,  had  caused  the  effigy  and  writings  of  the  Reformer  to  be 
given  to  the  flames.1  This  was  the  second  or  third  time  that  the 
papacy  had  enjoyed  this  pleasure.  At  this  time,  Leo,  wishing  to 
testify  his  gratitude  to  Charles  Y,  united  his  army  to  that  of  the 
emperor.  The  French  \vere  obliged  to  quit  Parma,  Placenza, 
and  Milan,  which  latter  town  was  entered  by  a  cousin  of  the  pope, 
Cardinal  Giulio  de  Medici.  The  pope  was  thus  mounting  to  the 
pinnacle  of  power. 

This  was  at  the  beginning  of  the  winter  of  1521.  Leo  X  was 
accustomed  to  pass  the  autumn  in  the  country,  and  at  this  time 
left  Kome  without  his  surplice,  and,  what,  says  his  master  of  the 
ceremonies,  was  still  more  scandalous,  in  boots.  He  had  hawking 
at  Yiterbo,  and  stag-hunting  at  Corneto,  enjoyed  the  sport  of  fish 
ing  in  the  lake  of  Bolsena,  and  then  went  to  pass  some  time  in  the 
midst  of  festivities  at  Malliana,  his  favourite  residence.  Musicians, 
improvisator!,  all  artists  whose  talents  could  enliven  this  delicious 
villa  surrounded  the  sovereign  pontiif.  He  was  here  at  the 
time  when  news  reached  him  of  the  taking  of  Milan.  The 
whole  villa  was  immediately  astir.  The  courtiers  and  officials 
could  not  restrain  their  joy.  The  Swiss  fired  feux  dejoie,  and  Leo, 
in  transport,  walked  up  and  down  his  room  the  whole  night,  often 
looking  out  of  his  window  at  the  rejoicings  of  the  Swiss  and  the 
people.  He  returned  to  Rome,  fatigued,  but  intoxicated  with  de 
light.  Scarcely  had  he  returned  to  the  Yatican  when  he  was  sud 
denly  taken  ill.  "  Pray  for  me,"  said  he  to  his  servants.  He  had 
not  even  time  to  receive  the  holy  sacrament,  and  died  in  the  vigour 
of  life  (forty- seven),  in  the  hour  of  triumph,  and  amid  the  noise  of 

The  people,  while  accompanying  the  hearse  of  the  sovereign 
pontiff,  gave  utterance  to  invectives.  They  could  not  forgive  his 
having  died  without  the  sacraments,  and  left  debts  consequent  on 
his  great  expenditure.  "Thou  didst  rise  to  the  pontificate  as  a 
fox,"  said  the  Romans,  "  there  thQu  playedst  the  lion,  and  now 
thou  art  gone  like  a  dog." 

Such  was  the  mourning  with  which  Rome  honoured  the  pope 
who  excommunicated  the  Reformation,  and  whose  name  serves  to 
mark  one  of  the  great  epochs  in  history. 

1  Comburi  jussit  alteram  rultus  in  ejus  statua,  alteram  animi  ejus  in  libris.  (Pal- 
lavicini,  i,  p.  128.)  He  caused  two  images  to  be  burned,  the  one  of  his  person  in  his 
effigy,  the  other  of  his  mind  in  his  books. 


Meanwhile  a  feeble  re -act  ion  against  the  spirit  of  Leo  and  Rome 
had  already  begun  in  Rome  herself.  Some  pious  individuals  had 
there  founded  an  oratory  for  their  common  edification,1  near  the 
place  where  tradition  bears  that  the  meetings  of  the  primitive 
Christians  were  held.  Contarini,  who  had  heard  Luther  at  Worms, 
took  the  lead  among  these  priests.  In  this  way  a  species  of  Refor 
mation  began  at  Rome  almost  at  the  same  time  as  at  Wittemberg. 
It  has  been  truly  said  that  wherever  there  are  germs  of  piety,  there 
are  also  germs  of  reform.  But  these  good  intentions  were  soon  to 
be  dissipated. 

At  other  times  the  choice  of  a  successor  to  Leo  X  would  have 
fallen  on  a  Gregory  VII,  or  an  Innocent  III,  if  they  could  have  been 
found,  but  the  interest  of  the  empire  now  took  precedence  of  that 
of  the  Church,  and  Charles  V  behoved  to  have  a  pope  who  was  de 
voted  to  himself.  The  Cardinal  de  Medici,  afterwards  pope  under 
the  name  of  Clement  VII,  seeing  that  he  could  not  yet  obtain  the 
tiara,  exclaimed,  "  Take  the  Cardinal  of  Tortosa,  who  is  old  and 
universally  regarded  as  a  saint."  This  prelate,  born  at  Utrecht, 
of  burgher  parentage,  was,  in  fact,  elected,  and  reigned  under  the 
name  of  Adrian  VI.  He  had  formerly  been  a  professor  at  Louvain, 
and  afterwards  became  preceptor  to  Charles,  by  whose  influence,  as 
emperor,  he  was,  in  1517,  invested  with  the  Roman  purple.  The 
Cardinal  de  Vio  seconded  the  proposal.  "  Adrian,"  said  he,  "  had, 
through  the  doctors  of  Louvain,  a  great  share  in  Luther's  con 
demnation."  2  The  cardinals,  worn  out  and  off  their  guard,  ap 
pointed  this  stranger;  but  shortly  on  recovering  themselves,  "  they 
were,"  says  a  chronicler,  "  as  it  were  dead  with  amazement."  The 
idea  that  the  rigid  Netherlander  w  ould  not  accept  the  tiara,  at  first, 
somewhat  solaced  them ;  but  this  was  of  short  duration.  Pasquin 
caricatured  the  pontiff  elect  under  the  figure  of  a  schoolmaster,  and 
the  cardinals  under  that  of  boys  whom  he  was  chastising.  The  popu 
lace  were  so  enraged  that  the  members  of  the  conclave  were  happy 
to  escape  without  being  thrown  into  the  river.3  In  Holland,  on  the 
contrary,  there  were  great  rejoicings  at  having  given  a  pope  to 
the  Church.  "Utrecht  planted — Louvain  watered — the  emperor 
has  given  the  increase,"  was  displayed  on  tapestry  hung  in  front 
of  the  houses.  Some  one  wrote  beneath,  "  And  God  did  nothing 
at  all  in  the  matter !  " 

Notwithstanding  the  dissatisfaction  originally  expressed  by  the 
people  of  Rome,  Adrian  VI  repaired  thither  in  August,  1522,  and 

1  Si  unirono  in  un  oratorio,  chiamato  del  divino  amore,  circa  sessanta  di  loro 
(Carr.cciolo  Vita  da  Paolo  IV,  MS.,  Ranke.)  About  sixty  of  them  formed  an  oratory, 
narred  the  Oratory  of  Divine  Love.  2  Doctores  Lovanienses  accepisse  consilium 

a  t;im  conspisuo  alumno.    (rallavicini.p.  UK.)    Thatthe  doctors  of  Louvain  had  been 
ro'ii  selled  by  th.  ir  distim  wished  »  Sleidan.  Hist  of  the  Kef.,  i,  p.  1?4. 

1 08  ADRIAN  VI. 

was  well  received.  It  was  said,  that  he  had  more  than  five  thousand 
benefices  at  his  disposal,  and  every  one  counted  on  obtaining  a 
share.  For  long  the  papal  throne  had  not  been  occupied  by  such 
a  pontiff.  Just,  active,  learned,  pious,  simple,  of  irreproachable 
manners,  he  did  not  allow  himself  to  be  blinded  either  by  favour 
or  anger.  He  arrived  at  the  Vatican  with  his  old  housekeeper, 
whom  he  charged  to  continue  to  provide  for  his  modest  wants  in 
the  magnificent  palace  which  Leo  had  filled  with  luxury  and  dis 
sipation.  He  had  none  of  the  tastes  of  his  predecessor.  When 
shown  the  magnificent  statue  of  the  Laocoon,  which  had  been  dis 
covered  a  few  years  before,  and  purchased,  for  a  large  sum,  by 
Julius  II,  he  turned  away  coldly,  saying,  "  these  are  pagan  idols." 
"I  would  far  rather,"  he  wrote,  "  serve  God  as  provost  of  Lou- 
vain,  than  as  pope  of  Rome." 

Adrian,  struck  with  the  danger  with  which  the  Reformation 
menaced  the  religion  of  the  middle  ages,  and  not,  like  the  Italians, 
with  those  to  which  it  exposed  Rome  and  its  hierarchy,  was  sin 
cerely  desirous  to  combat  and  arrest  it ;  and  it  seemed  to  him  that 
the  best  method  of  succeeding  was,  a  reform  of  the  Church  pro 
duced  by  the  Church  herself.  "  The  Church,"  said  he,  "  is  in  need 
of  a  reform,  but  we  must  proceed  in  it  step  by  step."  "  The 
opinion  of  the  pope,"  says  Luther,  "is,  that  between  two  steps 
there  must  be  an  interval  of  several  ages."  In  fact,  there  were 
ages  when  the  Church  was  moving  towards  a  Reformation.  It 
was  no  longer  time  to  temporise,  it  was  necessary  to  act. 

Adrian,  faithful  to  his  plan,  was  engaged  in  clearing  the  city  of 
the  profane,  of  forgers,  and  usurers.  The  task  was  not  easy ; 
for  they  formed  a  considerable  part  of  the  population. 

At  first  the  Romans  jeered  at  him,  but  shortly  they  hated  him. 
Sacerdotal  ascendancy,  and  the  immense  profits  which  it  produced 
— the  might  of  Rome — the  sports,  luxury,  and  festivities  which 
abounded  in  it,  would  all  be  irrecoverably  lost  by  a  return  to  apos 
tolic  manners. 

In  particular,  the  restoration  of  discipline  encountered  energetic 
opposition.  "To  succeed  in  it,"  said  the  grand  Penitentiary, 
(a  cardinal,)  "  it  would  first  be  necessary  to  bring  back  Chris 
tian  fervour.  The  cure  is  too  much  for  the  strength  of  the  patient, 
and  will  be  his  death.  Have  a  care  that,  in  trying  to  preserve 
Germany,  you  do  not  lose  Italy."  *  In  fact,  Adrian  had  soon 
much  more  to  dread  from  Romanism  than  from  Lutheranism. 

Attempts  were  made  to  bring  him  back  to  the  path  which  he 
was  desirous  to  quit.  The  old  and  wily  Cardinal  Soderino  de 
Volterra,  an  intimate  friend  of  Alexander  VI,  Julius  II,  and 

*  Sarpi  Hist,  of  the  Coun.  of  Trent,  p.  20. 


Leo  X,1  often  expressed  himself  to  honest  Adrian  in  terms  fitted 
to  acquaint  him  with  the  part,  to  him  so  novel,  which  he  was 
called  to  perform.  "  The  heretics,"  said  he  to  him  one  day,  "  have 
at  all  times  spoken  of  the  corrupt  manners  of  the  court  of  Rome ; 
notwithstanding,  the  popes  have  never  changed  them."  On  an 
other  occasion  he  said,  "  Hitherto  it  has  not  been  by  reforms  that 
heresies  have  been  extinguished,  but  by  crusades."  "Ah,"  replied 
the  pontiff,  with  a  deep  sigh,  "  how  unfortunate  the  condition  of 
the  popes,  since  they  have  not  even  the  liberty  of  doing  good."  2 

CHAP,  m 

Diet  of  Nuremberg— Invasion  of  Solyman— Tho  Nuncio  demands  the  Death  of  Luther 
—The  Preachers  of  Nuremberg— Promise  of  Reform— National  Grievances— Deere* 
of  the  Diet— Thundering  Letter  of  the  Pope— Luther's  Advice. 

On  the  23rd  March,  1522,  before  Adrian's  arrival  at  Rome,  the 
Diet  had  assembled  at  Nuremberg.  Previous  to  this,  the  Bishops 
of  Mersburg  and  Misnia  had  asked  permission  from  the  Elector  of 
Saxony  to  make  a  visitation  of  the  convents  and  churches  in  his 
states.  Frederick,  thinking  that  the  truth  should  be  strong  enough 
to  resist  error,  had  given  a  favourable  answer.  The  visitation  took 
place.  The  bishops  and  their  doctors  preached  fiercely  against 
reform.  They  exhorted,  threatened,  supplicated  :  but  their  argu 
ments  seemed  without  force,  and,  when  wishing  to  recur  to  more 
efficacious  weapons,  they  asked  the  secular  arm  to  execute  their  de 
crees,  the  Elector's  ministers  replied,  that  the  affair  required  to 
be  examined  by  the  Bible,  and  that  the  Elector  could  not,  at  his 
advanced  age,  sit  down  to  the  study  of  theology.  These  efforts  of 
the  bishops  did  not  bring  back  a  single  soul  to  the  fold  of  Rome  ; 
and  Luther  who,  a  short  time  after,  travelled  over  these  countries 
and  made  his  powerful  eloquence  be  heard,  effaced  any  feeble  im 
pressions  which  they  had  produced. 

There  was  reason  to  fear  that  Archduke  Ferdinand,  the  emperor's 
brother,  would  do  what  Frederick  had  refused.  This  young  prince, 
who  presided  at  part  of  the  sittings  of  the  Diet,  gradually  assuming 
more  resolution,  might,  in  his  zeal,  rashly  draw  the  sword  which  his 
more  prudent  and  politic  brother  wisely  left  in  its  sheath.  In 
fact,  Ferdinand  had  commenced  a  cruel  persecution  of  the  partisans 
of  the  Reformation  in  his  hereditary  states  of  Austria.  But  for 
the  deliverance  of  reviving  Christianity,  God  repeatedly  employed 
the  same  instrument  which  he  had  used  in  destroying  corrupted 

1  Per  lunga  esperienza  delle  cose  del  mundo,  molto  prudente  e  accorto.  (Nardi. 
Hist.  rior..  lib.  7.)  *  Sarpi,  p. 21. 


Christianity.  The  crescent  appeared  in  the  terrified  provinces  of 
Hungary.  On  the  9th  of  August,  after  a  siege  of  six  weeks,  Bel 
grade,  the  bulwark  of  that  kingdom  and  of  the  empire,  yielded  to 
the  assaults  of  Solyman.  The  followers  of  Mahomet,  after  their 
evacuation  of  Spain,  seemed  desirous  to  re-enter  Europe  by  the 
East.  The  Diet  of  Nuremberg  forgot  the  monk  of  Worms  to  think 
only  of  the  Luther  of  Constantinople.  But  Charles  V  kept  both 
adversaries  in  his  view.  Writing  the  pope  from  Valladolid  on  the 
31st  October,  he  said,  "  It  is  necessary  to  arrest  the  Turks  and 
punish  the  partisans  of  the  poisonous  doctrines  of  Luther  with  the 
sword."  * 

The  storm  which  seemed  to  have  turned  away  from  the  Refor 
mation,  and  proceeded  toward  the  East,  gathered  anew  over  the 
head  of  the  Reformer.  His  return  to  Wittemberg,  and  the  zeal 
which  he  then  displayed,  had  awakened  the  old  hatred.  "Now 
that  we  know  where  to  take  him,"  said  Duke  George,  "  let  the 
decree  of  Worms  be  carried  into  execution!"  It  was  even  confi 
dently  affirmed  in  Germany  that  both  the  emperor  and  Adrian 
would  appear  together  at  Nuremberg  to  advise  this.2  "Satan feels 
the  wound  which  he  has  received,"  said  Luther,  "  and,  therefore, 
puts  himself  into  all  this  rage.  But  Christ  has  already  stretched  forth 
his  hand,  and  will  trample  him  under  his  feet  in  spite  of  the  gates 
of  hell."3 

In  December,  1522,  the  Diet  again  assembled  at  Nuremberg. 
Every  thing  appeared  to  announce  that,  if  Solyman  was  the  great 
enemy  who  engrossed  the  attention  of  the  Spring  Session,  Luther 
would  be  the  engrossing  one  of  the  Winter  Session.  Adrian  VI, 
being  of  German  origin,  flattered  himself  his  countrymen  would 
give  him  a  more  favourable  reception  than  a  pope  of  Italian  origin 
could  hope  for.4  He  accordingly  charged  Chieregati,  whom  he 
had  known  in  Spain,  to  repair  to  Nuremberg. 

No  sooner  was  the  Diet  met  than  several  princes  made  violent 
speeches  against  Luther.  The  Cardinal  Archbishop  of  Salzburg, 
who  was  in  the  full  confidence  of  the  emperor,  was  desirous  that 
prompt  and  decisive  measures  should  be  taken  before  the  arrival  of 
the  Elector  of  Saxony.  The  Elector  Joachim  of  Brandenburg, 
always  resolute  in  his  course,  and  the  Chancellor  of  Treves,  were 
equally  pressing  for  the  execution  of  the  edict  of  Worms.  The 
other  princes  were  in  a  great  measure  undecided  and  divided  in 
opinion.  The  state  of  turmoil  in  which  th»  Church  was  placed, 

1  Dassman  die  Nachfolger  derselben  vergiften  Lehre,mit  dem  Schwcrt  strafen  mag. 
(L.  Op.  xvii,  p.  321.)  2  Cum  fatna  sit  fortis  et  Csesarem  et  Papam  Nurnbergam 

convcnturos.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  214.)  3  Sed  Christus  qui  coepit  conte  eteum.    (Ibid, 

p.  216.)  *  Quod  ex  ea  regione  venirent,  unde  nobis  secundum  camera  origo  est 

(Papal  Brief,  (L.)  Op.  L.  ii,  p.  852.) 


filled  her  most  faithful  servants  with  anguish.  The  Bishop  of 
Strasburg  broke  out  in  full  Diet  with  the  exclamation,  "  I  would 
give  one  of  my  ten  fingers  not  to  be  a  priest."  1 

Chieregati,  in  unison  with  the  Archbishop  of  Salzburg,  demanded 
the  death  of  Luther.  "  It  is  necessary,"  said  he,  on  the  part  of  the 
pope,  and  with  a  papal  brief  in  his  hands,  "it  is  necessary  to  am 
putate  this  gangrened  limb  from  the  body.2  Your  fathers  at  Con 
stance  put  to  death  John  Huss  and  Jerome  of  Prague  ;  but  they 
revive  in  Luther.  Follow  the  glorious  example  of  your  ancestors, 
and,  with  the  assistance  of  God  and  St.  Peter,  carry  off  a  magni 
ficent  victoiy  over  the  infernal  dragon." 

On  hearing  the  brief  of  the  pious  and  moderate  Adrian,  the 
most  of  the  princes  were  seized  with  terror.2  Several  were  beginning 
to  have  a  better  understanding  of  the  arguments  of  Luther,  and  had 
hoped  other  things  of  the  pope.  So  then,  Rome,  under  an  Adrian, 
refuses  to  acknowledge  her  faults :  she  is  still  preparing  her  thunder, 
and  the  Germanic  provinces  are  to  be  covered  with  desolation  and 
blood.  While  the  princes  kept  a  mournful  silence,  the  prelates  and 
the  members  of  the  Diet  were  in  an  uproar.  "  Let  him  be  put  to 
death,"  3  exclaimed  they,  within  hearing  of  the  envoy  of  Saxony, 
who  was  present  at  the  sitting. 

Very  different  expressions  were  heard  in  the  churches  of  Nurem 
berg.  Crowds  flocked  into  the  chapel  of  the  Hospital  and  the 
churches  of  the  Augustins,  St.  Sibbald  and  St.  Laurence,  to  the 
preaching  of  the  gospel.  Andrew  Osiander  preached  powerfully  in 
the  latter  church.  Several  princes,  and,  in  particular,  Albert,  Mar 
grave  of  Brandenburg,  who,  in  his  quality  of  Grand  Master  of  the 
Teutonic  Order,  took  rank  immediately  after  the  archbishop,  was  a 
frequent  attendant.  Monks  quitting  the  convents  of  the  town, 
learned  trades,  in  order  to  gain  a  livelihood  by  their  own  hands. 

Chieregati  could  not  tolerate  this  boldness.  He  demanded  that 
the  rebellious  priests  and  monks  should  be  cast  into  prison.  The 
Diet,  notwithstanding  strong  opposition  from  the  envoys  of  the 
Elector  of  Saxony  and  the  Margrave  Casimir,  resolved  to  order 
the  apprehension  of  the  monks,  but  agreed  previously  to  com 
municate  the  nuncio's  complaints  to  Osiander  and  his  colleagues. 
A  committee,  with  the  fanatical  Cardinal  Salzburg  for  its  presi 
dent,  was  entrusted  with  the  execution  of  it.  The  danger  was 
imminent :  the  struggle  was  on  the  eve  of  commencing ;  and  it 
was  with  the  National  Council  that  it  was  to  commence. 

However,  the  citizens  prevented  it.     While  the  Diet  was  de- 

i  Er  Wollte  einen  Finger  drum  geben.     (Seek.,  p.  568.)  2  Resecandos  ut< 

membra  jam  putrida  a  sano  corpore.  (Pallav.,  i,  158.)  3  Einen  grossen  Schrecken 
eingejagt.  (Seek.,  p.  552.)  *Nicht  anders  geschrien  dean:  Crueifige!  Cruoifige! 
(L.  Op.  xvB,  367.) 


liberating  as  to  what  should  be  done  in  regard  to  their  ministeis, 
the  town  council  was  deliberating  as  to  what  should  be  done  in  re 
gard  to  the  resolution  of  the  Diet.  The  decision  was,  that,  if  it  was 
attempted,  by  the  strong  hand,  to  carry  off  the  ministers  of  the 
town,  they  would  with  the  strong  hand  set  them  at  liberty.  Such 
a  resolution  was  significant.  The  Diet,  in  astonishment,  intimated 
to  the  nuncio  that  it  was  contrary  to  law  to  apprehend  the  minis 
ters  of  the  free  town  of  Nuremberg  without  having  convicted  them 
of  heresy. 

Chieregati  was  deeply  moved  at  this  new  aflront  to  the  omnipo 
tence  of  the  pope.  "  Very  well,"  said  he  proudly  to  Ferdinand, 
"  do  nothing  but  leave  me  to  act.  I  will  seize  these  heretical 
preachers  in  the  pope's  name."  x  No  sooner  had  the  Cardinal 
Archbishop  of  Mente,  and  the  Margrave  Casimir  been  apprised 
of  this  strange  resolution  than  they  repaired  in  haste  to  the  legate, 
and  implored  him  to  abandon  it.  The  nuncio  showed  himself  in 
flexible,  declaring  that  within  the  bosom  of  Christendom  the  pope 
must  be  obeyed.  The  two  princes  took  leave  of  the  legate,  saying, 
"  If  you  persist  in  your  design,  we  call  upon  you  to  give  us  intima 
tion  ;  for  we  will  quit  the  town  before  you  have  proceeded  to  lay 
hands  on  these  preachers."  2  The  legate  abandoned  his  project. 

Having  no  longer  any  hope  of  succeeding  in  the  way  of  authority, 
he  resolved  to  have  recourse  to  other  expedients,  and  with  this 
view  communicated  to  the  Diet  the  intentions  and  injunctions  of 
the  pontiff,  which  he  had  hitherto  concealed. 

But  honest  Adrian,  who  was  a  stranger  to  the  world,  by  his  very 
frankness  injured  the  cause  which  he  had  so  much  at  heart.  "  We 
know  well,"  said  he,  in  the  resolutions  transmitted  to  his  legate, 
"that  for  several  years  many  abuses  and  abominations  have 
existed  in  the  holy  city.3  The  contagion  has  spread  from  the 
head  into  the  members ;  it  has  descended  from  the  popes  to  the 
other  ecclesiastics.  We  desire  the  reformation  of  this  Roman  court 
whence  proceed  so  many  evils ;  the  whole  world  desires  it,  and  it 
was  with  a  view  to  its  accomplishment  that  we  were  resigned  to 
mount  the  pontifical  throne." 

The  partisans  of  Rome  blushed  for  shame  when  they  heard  these 
strange  words.  Like  Pallavicini,  they  thought  the  confession  too 
frank.4  On  the  contrary,  the  friends  of  the  Reformation  rejoiced 

1  Sese  auctoritate  pontifica  cui-aturum  ut  isti  caperentur.     (Corp.  Ref.,  i,  p.  606.) 

2  Priusquam  illi  caperentur,  se  urbe  cessuros  esse.     (Ibid.)  s  In  earn  sedem 
aliquot  jam  annos  quasdam  vitia  irrepsisse,  abusus  in  rebus  sacris,  in  legibus  viola- 
tiones,  in  cunctis  denique  perversionem.     (Pallav.,  i,  p.  160.)     That  far  several  years 
past  certain  vices  had  crept  hv.o  that  see — abuses  in  sacred  matters,  violations  of  law, 
and  perversion  in  every  thing.     (See  also  Sarpi,  p.  25.     L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  329,  etc.) 

*  Liberioris  tamen  quam  par  erat,  sinceritatis  fuisse  visum  est,  ea  conventui  pat»- 
facere.  (Ibid.,  p.  162.) 


on  hearing  Rome  proclaiming  her  cormption.  There  was  no  longer 
any  doubt  that  Luther  was  right  since  the  pope  himself  declared  it. 
The  reply  of  the  Diet  showed  how  much  the  authority  of  the 
sovereign  pontiff  had  fallen  in  the  empire.  The  spirit  of  Luther 
seemed  to  have  passed  into  the  hearts  of  the  representatives  of  the 
nation.  The  moment  was  favourable,  Adrian's  ear  was  open  ;  the 
emperor  was  absent ;  the  Diet  resolved  to  collect  into  one  body  all 
the  grievances  which  Germany  complained  of  against  Rome,  and 
dispatch  them  to  the  pope. 

The  legate,  alarmed  at  this  determination,  supplicated  and 
menaced  by  turns,  but  in  vain.  The  secular  estates  were  decided, 
and  the  ecclesiastical  offered  no  opposition.  Eighty-four  griev 
ances  were  specified.  The  abuses  and  stratagems  of  the  Roman 
court  in  making  extortions  on  Germany, — the  scandals  and  pro 
fanations  of  the  clergy, — the  irregularities  and  simony  of  the  ecclesi 
astical  tribunals, — the  encroachment  on  the  secular  power  in  enslaving 
consciences,  were  exposed  with  equal  frankness  and  force.  The 
states  hinted  that  human  traditions  were  the  source  of  alt  this  cor 
ruption.  They  concluded  thus:  "  If  these  grievances  are  not  re 
dressed  within  a  limited  time,  we  will  consider  other  means  of 
escaping  from  all  this  oppression  and  suffering."  6  Chieregati,  fore 
seeing  the  fearful  detail  into  which  the  Diet  would  enter,  quitted 
Nuremberg  in  haste,  that  he  might  not  be  the  bearer  of  so  dis 
agreeable  and  insolent  a  message. 

Still,  was  there  not  room  to  apprehend  that  the  Diet  might  be 
willing  to  compensate  for  "their  boldness  by  sacrificing  Luther? 
It  was  thought  so  at  first ;  but  a  spirit  of  truth  and  justice  had 
fallen  on  this  assembly.  They,  like  Luther,  demanded  that  a 
free  council  should  be  convened  in  the  empire,  and  added,  that 
until  it  took  place  the  pure  gospel  only  should  be  preached,  and 
nothing  should  be  printed  without  the  approbation  of  certain  indi 
viduals  of  character  and  learning.2  These  resolutions  enable  us 
to  apprehend  the  immense  progress  which  the  Reformation  had 
made  since  the  Diet  of  Worms ;  and  yet  the  Saxon  envoy,  the 
Chevalier  von  Feilitsch  protested  solemnly  against  any  censure 
which  the  Diet  might  pronounce,  how  moderate  soever  the  terms 
might  be.  The  decision  of  the  Diet  was  regarded  as  a  first  victory 
gained  by  the  Reformation,  and  was  to  be  succeeded  by  others 
still  more  decisive.  Even  the  Swiss,  in  their  mountains,  thrilled 
with  joy.  "  The  Roman  pontiff  is  vanquished  in  Germany,"  said 
Zuinglius:  "  all  that  remains  is  to  wrest  his  arms  from  him.  This 

1  Wie  sie  solcher  Beschwer  ir^und  Drangsaal  entladenwerden.   (L.Op.xviii,  p.  354  ) 
»  Ut  pieplacideque  purum  Evangelium  praedicaretur.    (Pallav.,  i,  p.  166.)    Tha't  the 
pure  gospel  should  be  wisely  and  quietly  preached,    (See  also  Sleidan,  i,  p.  135.) 



is  the  battle  we  have  now  to  wage,  and  it  will  be  the  fiercest ;  but 
we  have  Christ  as  witness  of  the  combat." l  Luther  declared  aloud 
that  God  had  inspired  the  edict  of  the  princes.2 

There  was  great  wrath  in  the  Vatican  among  the  ministers  of 
the  papacy.  What!  it  is  not  enough  to  have  a  pope  who  disap 
points  all  the  hopes  of  the  Eomans,  and  in  whose  palace  there  is 
neither  music  nor  play;  must  secular  princes,  moreover,  hold  a 
language  which  Eome  detests,  and  refuse  the  death  of  the  heretic 
of  Wittemberg ! 

Adrian  himself  was  very  indignant  at  the  proceedings  in  Ger 
many.  It  was  on  the  Elector  of  Saxony  he  discharged  his  anger. 
Never,  perhaps,  did  Borne  sound  an  alarm  more  energetic,  sincere, 
and  even  more  impressive. 

"  We  have  waited  long,  perhaps  too  long,"  said  the  pious  Adrian, 
in  the  brief  which  he  addressed  to  the  Elector,  "  we  were  desirous 
to  see  if  God  would  not  be  pleased  to  visit  your  soul,  and  enable 
you  at  last  to  escape  from  the  snares  of  Satan.  But  where  we 
hoped  to  gather  grapes,  we  have  gathered  only  sour  grapes.  The 
spirit  has  blown  in  vain.  Your  iniquities  have  not  melted  away. 
Open  your  eyes  then,  and  see  the  greatness  of  your  fall ! 

"  If  the  unity  of  the  Church  has  been  broken,  if  the  simple  have 
been  turned  aside  from  the  faith  which  they  had  sucked  at  the 
breasts  of  their  mother,  if  the  churches  are  deserted,  if  the  people 
are  without  priests,  and  the  priests  no  longer  receive  the  honoui 
which  is  due  to  them,  if  Christians  are  without  Christ — to  whom 
do  we  owe  it,  if  not  to  yourself?3  .  ;  .  If  Christian  peace  has 
fled  the  earth,  if  the  world  is  full  of  discord,  rebellion,  robbery, 
assassination,  conflagration,  if  the  cry  of  war  resounds  from 
east  to  west,  if  a  universal  battle  is  preparing,  you,  still  you  are 
the  cause ! 

"  Do  you  not  see  that  sacrilegious  man  (Luther),  tearing  to 
pieces  the  images  of  the  saints,  and  even  the  sacred  cross  of  Jesus 
Christ,  with  his  guilty  hands,  and  trampling  them  under  his  im 
pure  feet  ?  ....  Do  you  not  see  him,  in  his  impious  wrath, 
stirring  up  the  laity  to  wash  their  hands  in  the  blood  of  the  priests, 
and  throw  down  the  churches  of  the  Lord  ? 

"  What  matters  it,  though  the  priests  whom  he  attacks  be  bad 
priests  ?  Has  not  the  Lord  said,  '  Do  what  they  say,  and  not  what 
they  do,'  thus  pointing  at  the  honour  which  is  due  to  them,  even 
when  their  conduct  is  culpable.4 

1  Victus  est  ac  ferme  profligatus  e  Germania  romanus  pontifex.     (Zw.  Ep.  313,  llth 
Oct.,  1523.)     The  Roman  pontiff  was  almost  conquered  and  driven  from  Germany. 

2  Gott  habe  solches  E.  G.  eingeben.     (L.  Op.  xviii,  476.)  8  Dass  die  Kirchen 
ohne  Volk  sind,  dass  die  Volker  ohne  Priester  sind,  dass  die  Priester  oh  vie  Ehre  sind, 
und  dass  die  Christen  oh  vie  Christo  sind.    (Ibid.  p.  371.)             *  Wenn  sie  gleich  eines 
verdammten  Lebens  sind.    (Ibid.  p.  379.) 


"  Rebellious  apostate,  he  is  not  ashamed  to  defile  the  vessels 
consecrated  to  the  Lord;  he  plucks  from  their  sanctuaries  the  holy 
virgins  consecrated  to  Christ,  and  gives  them  to  the  devil;  he 
takes  the  priests  of  the  Lord  and  gives  them  up  to  infamous  prosti 
tutes  ....  Frightful  profanation,  at  which  the  pagans  even 
would  have  been  horrified,  had  they  seen  it  in  the  pontiffs  of  their 
idols ! " 

"  Of  what  punishment,  of  what  suffering,  think  you,  then,  we 
shall  deem  you  worthy  ?  .  .  .  .  Take  pity  on  yourself,  take 
pity  on  your  miserable  Saxons ;  for  if  you  are  not  speedily  con 
verted,  God  will  cause  his  vengeance  to  descend  upon  you. 

"  In  the  name  of  God  Almighty  and  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
whose  representative  on  the  earth  I  am,  I  declare  to  you,  that  you 
will  be  punished  in  this  world,  and  plunged  into  the  eternal  fire  in 
that  which  is  to  come.  Repent  and  be  converted !  .  .  .  Two 
swords  are  suspended  over  your  head,  the  sword  of  the  empire,  and 
the  sword  of  the  popedom " 

The  pious  Frederick  trembled  on  reading  this  menacing  brief. 
A  short  time  before  he  had  written  to  the  Emperor  to  say,  that 
old  age  and  sickness  rendered  him  incapable  of  occupying  himself 
with  these  affairs ;  and  the  reply  given  to  him  was  the  most  arro 
gant  letter  that  ever  a  sovereign  prince  had  received.  Weakened 
by  age,  he  cast  his  eyes  on  that  sword  which  he  had  earned  to  the 
holy  sepulchre  in  the  days  of  his  strength.  He  began  to  think 
it  might  be  necessary  to  unsheath  it  in  defence  of  the  consciences 
of  his  subjects,  and  that  already  on  the  brink  of  the  grave,  he 
would  not  be  able  to  go  down  to  it  in  peace.  He  immediately 
wrote  to  Wittemberg  for  the  ad  rice  of  the  fathers  of  the  Refor 

There,  also,  troubles  and  persecutions  were  foreseen.  "  What 
shall  I  say,"  exclaimed  the  mild  Melancthon,  "to  what  side 
shall  I  turn  ?  We  are  overwhelmed  with  hatred,  and  the  world 
is  transported  with  rage  against  us."  *  Luther,  Linck,  Melancthon, 
Bugenhagen,  and  Amsdorff,  consulted  together,  as  to  the  answer  to 
be  returned  to  the  Elector.  They  all  proposed  nearly  the  same 
answer.  Their  opinion  is  very  striking. 

"  No  prince,"  said  they,  "  can  undertake  a  war  without  the  con- 
sent  of  the  people  from  whose  hands  he  received  the  government.2 
Now,  the  people  have  no  wish  to  fight  for  the  gospel,  for  they  do 
not  believe  it.  Let  the  princes,  then,  not  take  up  arms  ;  they  are 
princes  of  the  nations,  in  other  words,  of  unbelievers."  Thus  it 

*  Quid  clicam  ?  quo  mevertam?    (Oorp.  Ref.  i,  p.  627.)  2  Prfncipi  nullura 

licet  suscipere  bellum,  nisi  consentiente  populo,  a  quo  accepit  imperium.    (Ibid.  p. 


was  the  impetuous  Luther  who  asked  sage  Frederick  to  put  up  the 
sword  into  its  sheath.  He  could  not  give  a  better  answer  to  the 
charge  brought  against  him  by  the  pope,  of  stirring  up  the  laity  to 
wash  their  hands  in  the  blood  of  the  clergy.  Few  characters  hare 
been  less  understood  than  his.  This  opinion  is  dated  the  8th  Feb 
ruary,  1523.  Frederick  restrained  himself. 

The  wrath  of  the  pope  soon  bore  its  proper  fruits.  The  princes 
who  had  expounded  their  grievances  against  Home,  frightened  at 
their  boldness,  sought  to  appease  him  by  compliance.  Several  be 
sides  declared  that  victory  must  remain  with  the  pontiff  of  Rome, 
as  he  appeared  to  be  the  stronger.  "  In  our  day,"  said  Luther, 
"  princes  content  themselves  with  saying,  three  times  three  mak.3 
nine,  or  twice  seven  make  fourteen:  the  account  is  correct 
the  affair  will  succeed.  Then  our  Lord  God  rises  up  and  says — 
4  For  how  much,  tnen,  do  you  count  me?  ...  For  a  cipher,  per 
haps  ?'  Then  he  turns  their  calculations  upside  down,  and  their 
accounts  prove  erroneous." 


Persecution— Efforts  of  Duke  George— The  Convent  of  Antwerp— Miltenberg— The 
three  Monks  of  Antwerp—The  Scaffold— Martyrdom  at  Brussels. 

The  flame  breathed  forth  by  the  humble  and  meek  Adrian 
kindled  the  conflagration.  His  remonstrance  caused  an  immense 
sensation  throughout  Christendom.  Persecution,  which  had  for 
some  time  been  arrested,  again  commenced.  Luther  trembled  for 
Germany,  and  strove  to  lay  the  storm.  "  If  the  princes,"  said  he, 
"  set  themselves  in  opposition  to  the  truth,  the  result  will  be  a 
tumult,  which  will  destroy  princes,  magistrates,  priests,  and  people. 
I  tremble  at  the  thought  of  soon  seeing  all  Germany  swim  in 
blood.2  Let  us  interpose  as  a  wall  and  preserve  our  people  from 
the  Lord's  anger.  The  people  are  no  longer  what  they  have  been 
hitherto.3  The  sword  of  civil  war  is  suspended  over  the  heads  of 
kings.  They  wish  to  destroy  Luther,  but  Luther  wishes  to  save 
them.  Christ  lives  and  reigns  :  I  shall  live  and  reign  with  him."  4 

These  words  were  without  effect :  Eome  was  hastening  on  to 
wards  scaffolds  and  blood.  The  Reformation,  like  Jesus  Christ, 
had  not  come  to  bring  peace,  but  a  sword.  For  the  purposes  of 
God,  persecution  was  necessary.  As  objects  are  hardened  by  fire, 

1  So  kehrt  er  ihnen  auch  die  Rechnung  gar  um.    (L.  Op.  xxii,  1831.) 

2  tit  videar  mihi  videre  Germaniam  in  sanguine  natare.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  156.) 

*  Cogitent  populos  non  esse  tales  modo,  quales  hacterms  fuerunt.    (Ibid.  p.  157.) 

*  Christus  meus  vivit  «?t  regnat,  et  ego  vivam  et  re^nabj.    (Ibid.  #.  15S.J 


to  protect  them  from  the  influence  of  the  atmosphere,  so  a  trial  by 
fire  was  to  secure  evangelical  truth  against  the  influence  of  the 
world.  But  this  fire  did  more  :  it  served,  as  in  the  early  days  of 
Christianity,  to  kindle  an  universal  enthusiasm  for  the  cause  so 
virulently  persecuted.  There  is  in  man,  when  he  begins  to  know 
the  truth,  a  holy  indignation  against  injustice  and  violence.  An 
instinctive  feeling,  which  comes  from  God,  urges  him  to  take  part 
with  the  oppressed,  and,  at  the  same  time,  the  constancy  of  martyrs 
raises  and  captivates  him,  and  hurries  him  on  towards  the  saving 
doctrine  which  gives  so  much  courage  and  so  much  peace. 

Duke  George  headed  the  persecution.  But  he  deemed  it  a  small 
matter  to  employ  it  in  his  own  states.  He  wished,  above  all,  to 
see  its  ravages  in  electoral  Saxony — the  focus  of  heresy — and  he 
did  every  thing  to  shake  the  Elector  Frederick,  and  Duke  John. 
Writing  them  from  Nuremberg,  he  says,  "Merchants  just  come 
from  Saxony  relate,  with  regard  to  it,  things  which  are  strange 
and  contrary  to  the  honour  of  God  and  the  saints  :  the  sacrament 
of  the  supper  is  there  received  with  the  hand.  The  bread  and  wine 
are  consecrated  in  the  vulgar  tongue-,  the  blood  of  Christ  is  put  in 
ordinary  vessels  ;  and,  at  Eulenberg,  to  insult  the  priest,  a  man 
even  entered  the  church  mounted  on  an  ass !  ....  What  is  the 
consequence  ?  The  minerals  with  which  God  had  enriched  Saxony 
begin  to  be  exhausted  since  the  innovating  preachings  of  Luther. 
Oh !  would  to  God  that  those  who  boast  of  having  raised  up  the 
gospel  in  the  electorate  had  rather  earned  it  to  Constantinople. 
Luther  has  a  soft  and  pleasant  voice,  but  a  venomous  tail,  which 
stings  like  that  of  the  scorpion.  Let  us  prepare  for  the  battle. 
Let  us  throw  these  apostate  monks  and  profane  priests  into  chains 
and  that  without  delay :  for  our  remaining  locks  as  well  as  beards 
grow  white,  arid  remind  us  that  we  have  only  a  few  days  for  action."  1 

Thus  wrote  Duke  George  to  the  Elector,  who  replied  firmly  and 
mildly,  that  whosoever  should  do  a  criminal  act  within  his  States 
should  not  escape  condign  punishment ;  but  that  matters  of  con 
science  must  be  left  to  God. 2 

George  not  being  able  to  persuade  Frederick,  hastened,  in  his 
own  neighbourhood,  to  give  proof  of  his  severity  against  the  cause 
which  he  hated.  He  imprisoned  the  monks  and  priests  who  ad 
hered  to  Luther.  He  ordered  back  the  students  belonging  to  his 
states  who  were  studying  at  the  universities  tainted  with  the  Re 
formation,  and  he  ordered  all  New  Testaments  in  the  vulgar  tongue 
to  be  delivered  up  to  the  magistrates.  The  same  course  was  fol 
lowed  in  Austria,  Wurtemberg,  and  the  Duchy  of  Brunswick. 

1  Wie  ihre  Bart  und  Ha  a  re  ausweisen.    (Seek.,  p.  48i'.)  2  Miisae  man  solclie 

Dinge  Gott  iiberlassen.     (Ibid.  485.) 


But  it  was  in  the  Low  Countries  which  were  under  the  immedi 
ate  authority  of  Charles  V,  that  the  persecution  burst  forth  with 
greatest  fury.  The  Augustin  convent  at  Antwerp  was  full  of  monks 
who  had  received  the  truth  of  the  gospel.  Several  of  the  friars 
had  resided  some  time  at  Wittemberg,  and  from  1519  preached  sal 
vation  by  grace  in  their  church,  with  great  energy.  The  prior, 
James  Probst,  who  was  of  a  fiery  temperament,  and  Melchior 
Mirisch,  who  was,  on  the  other  hand,  distinguished  for  ability  and 
prudence,  were  arrested  and  carried  to  Brussels,  about  the  end  ol 

1521.  Probst,  surprised  and  terrified,  recanted.     Melchior  Mirisch 
found  means  of  softening  his  judges,  and  escaped  both  condemna 
tion  and  recantation. 

These  persecutions  did  not  intimidate  the  monks  who  were  left  in 
the  convent  of  Antwerp.  They  continued  vigorously  to  preach  the 
gospel.  The  people  flocked  to  hear  them,  and  the  church  of  the  Au- 
gustins  proved  too  small,  as  that  of  Wittemberg  had  done.  In  October, 

1522,  the  storm  which  was  gathering  over  their  heads  burst :  the 
convent  was  shut  up,  and  the  monks  were  imprisoned  and  condemn 
ed  to  death.1    Some  made  their  escape.    Some  females,  forgetting 
the  timidity  of  their  sex,  rescued  one  of  them,  Henry  of  Zuphten, 
from  his  executioners.2    Three  young  monks,  Henry  Voes,  John 
Esch,  and  Lambert  Thorn,  for  some  time  eluded  the  search  of  the 
inquisitors.     All  the  vessels  of  the-  convent  were  sold,  the  building 
was  barricaded,  and  the  holy  sacrament  removed  from  it  as  from 
a  place  become  infamous.     Margaret,   the  regent  of  the  Low 
Countries,  received  it  solemnly  into  the  church  of  the  holy  Virgin.3 
Orders  were  given,  that  this  heretical  monastery  should  be  razed 
to  its  foundations  ;  and  several  citizens  and  females  who  had  re 
ceived  the  gospel  with  joy  were  cast  into  prison.4 

Luther  was  much  grieved  on  learning  these  tidings.  "  The  cause 
which  we  defend,"  said  he,  "  is  no  longer  a  simple  game:  it  wishes 
blood  :  it  demands  life.5 

The  fates  of  Mirisch  and  Probst  were  to  be  very  different.  The 
prudent  Mirisch  soon  became  the  docile  servant  of  Rome,  and  the 
executioner  of  the  imperial  decrees  against  the  adherents  of  the  Re 
formation.6  On  the  contrary,  Probst,  who  had  escaped  from  the 
inquisitors,  bewailed  his  fault,  withdrew  his  recantation,  and,  at 
Bruges  in  Flanders,  boldly  preached  the  doctrine  which  he  had  ab 
jured.  Arrested  anew  and  imprisoned  at  Brussels,  his  death  seemed 
inevitable.7  A  franciscan,  moved  with  pity,  aided  his  escape,  and 
Probst  "  saved  by  a  miracle  of  God,"  says  Luther,  arrived  at 

1  Zum  Tode  verurtheilet.    (Seek.,  p.  548.)  2  Quomodo  mulieres  vi  Henricum 

liberarint.     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  265.)  s  Susceptum  honorifice  a  domina  Margareta. 

(Ibid.)  *  Gives  aliquos,  et  mulieres  vexatae  et  punitse.      (Ibid.)  6  Et 

vitam  exiget  et  sanguinem.    (Ibid.  p.  181.)  6  Est  executor  Csesaris  contra  nos- 

tros.    (Ibid.  p.  207.  7  Domo  captum,  exustum  credimus.    (Ibid.  p.  214.) 


Wittemberg,  where  his  double  deliverance  filled  the  hearts  of  the 
friends  of  the  Eeformation  with  joy.1 

The  Romish  priests  were  every  where  in  arms.  The  town  of 
Miltenberg  on  the  Maine,  belonging  to  the  Elector- Archbishop  of 
Mentz,  was  one  of  the  Germanic  cities  which  had  received  the  Word 
of  God  with  the  greatest  readiness.  The  inhabitants  were  strongly 
attached  to  their  pastor,  John  Draco,  one  of  the  most  enlightened 
men  of  his  time.  He  was  compelled  to  retire,  but  the  Roman  ec 
clesiastics  quitted  at  the  same  time,  dreading  the  popular  ven 
geance.  An  evangelical  deacon  alone  remained  to  administer  spi 
ritual  consolation.  At  the  same  time  troops  from  Mentz  entered 
and  spread  over  the  town,  uttering  blasphemies,  brandishing  their 
swords,  and  giving  themselves  up  to  debauchery.2 

Some  evangelical  Christians  fell  under  their  blows,3  others  were 
seized  and  thrown  into  dungeons,  the  Romish  rites  were  again  set 
up,  the  reading  of  the  Bible  was  prohibited,  and  the  inhabitants 
were  forbidden  to  speak  of  the  gospel,  even  in  their  most  private 
intercourse.  On  the  entry  of  the  troops  the  deacon  had  taken 
refuge  in  the  house  of  a  poor  widow.  He  was  denounced  to  the 
rulers,  who  sent  a  soldier  to  seize  him.  The  humble  deacon 
hearing  the  soldier,  who  was  seeking  his  life,  advancing  with  hasty 
steps,  quietly  waited  for  him,  and  when  the  door  was  hastily  opened 
he  rose  mildly  to  meet  him,  and  embracing  him  cordially  said,  "  I 
salute  you,  my  brother;  here  I  am,  plunge  your  sword  into  my 
bosom."  4  The  fierce  soldier,  astonished,  let  his  sword  fall  from 
his  hand,  and  would  not  allow  any  harm  to  be  done  to  the  pious 

Meanwhile  the  inquisition  of  the  Low  Countries,  thirsting  for 
blood,  scoured  the  country,  and  searched  every  where  for  the  young 
Augustins  who  had  escaped  from  the  persecution  of  Antwerp.  Esch , 
Voes,  and  Lambert,  were  at  last  discovered,  chained,  and  carried 
to  Brussels.  Egmondanus,  Hochstratten,and  some  other  inquisi 
tors,  summoned  them  before  them.  Hochstratten asked,  "Do  you 
retract  your  assertion  that  the  priest  has  not  power  to  pardon  sins, 
and  that  pardon  belongs  to  God  only?  "  He  next  enumerated  all 
the  evangelical  doctrines,  and  summoned  them  to  abjure  them. 
"We  recant  nothing,"  exclaimed  Esch  and  Voes  firmly;  "  we  will 
not  abjure  the  Word  of  God;  we  will  sooner  die  for  the  faith!" 

1  Jacobus,  Dei  miraculo  liberatus  qui  nunc  agit  nobiscum.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  182.)  This 
letter,  which  in  Wette's  collection  bears  the  date  of  14th  April,  must  be  posterior  to 
June.  For  Luther,  on  the  27th  June,  says,  that  Probst  has  been  taken  a  second  time, 
and  is  to  be  burnt.  It  may  be  admitted  that  Probst  was  in  Wittemberg  between  his 
two  imprisonments,  for  Luther  would  not  have  said  of  a  Christian  who  had  saved  him 
self  by  a  recantation  that  he  had  been  delivered  by  a  mirncle  of  God.  Perhaps  tha 
date  should  be  read,  not '  in  die  S.  Tiburtii,'  but '  in  die  Turiafi,'  which  would  bring  it 
to  13th  July,  which  seems  to  me  the  more  probable  date.  2  So  sie  doch  schand- 

licher  leben  denn  Huren  und  Buben.    (Ibid.,  ii,  p.  482.)  s  gchlug  etliche  todt 

(fV< -k..  p.  «04.)  4Sey  ;r(>«rii<;t,  mein  Briuter.    (Scultet.,  ann.  i,  p.  173.) 

120  THE  SCAFFOLD.         • 

Inquisitor. — "  Do  you  confess  that  you  have  been  led  astray  by 

The  Young  Augustins. — "  Just  as  the  apostles  were  led  astray  by 
Jesus  Christ." 

TJie  Inquisitors. — "  We  pronounce  you  heretics,  who  deserve  to 
be  burnt  alive ;  and  we  hand  you  over  to  the  secular  arm." 

Lambert  was  silent :  he  was  afraid  of  death :  anguish  and  doubt 
agitated  his  soul.  "  I  ask  four  days,"  said  he,  in  a  suppressed  tone. 
He  was  taken  back  to  prison.  As  soon  as  this  period  was  expired, 
the  sacerdotal  consecration  was  formally  withdrawn  from  Esch  and 
Voes,  who  were  handed  over  to  the  council  of  the  Kegent  of  the 
Low  Countries,  The  council  handed  them  over  hand-cuffed  to 
the  executioner.  Hochstralten,and  three  other  inquisitors  accom 
panied  them  even  to  the  scaffold.1 

When  arrived  near  the  scaffold,  the  young  martyrs  eyed  it 
calmly ;  their  constancy,  their  piety,  their  youth,2  drew  tears  even 
from  the  inquisitors.  When  they  were  bound,  the  confessors  ap 
proached:  "We  ask  you  once  more,  Will  you  receive  the  Christian 

The  Martyrs. — "  We  believe  in  the  Christian  Church ;  but  not  in 
your  Church." 

A  half  hour  passed  away :  it  was  hoped  that  the  prospect  of  so 
frightful  a  death  would  intimidate  the  youths.  But,  the  only  persons 
who  were  calm  amidst  the  agitated  crowd  which  covered  the  public 
square,  they  sung  psalms,  occasionally  interrupting  this  employ 
ment  to  say  boldly,  "  We  wish  to  die  for  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ." 

"Be  converted,  be  converted,"  exclaimed  the  inquisitors,  "or" 
you  will  die  in  the  name  of  the  devil." — "  No,"  replied  the  martyrs : 
"  we  will  die  as  Christians  for  the  truth  of  the  gospel." 

The  pile  was  set  on  fire.  While  the  flame  ascended  slowly, 
divine  peace  filled  their  hearts ;  and  one  of  them  even  went  so 
far  as  to saj , "  I  feel  as  if  reclining  on  a  bed  of  roses."  3  The  solemn 
hour  had  come  :  death  was  at  hand :  the  two  martyrs,  with  loud 
voice,  exclaimed,  "  O  Domini  Jesu,  Fili  David,  miserere  nostri!" 
"  Lord  Jesus,  Son  of  David,  have  mercy  on  us ! "  Then  they  began 
in  a  solemn  voice  to  repeat  the  creed.4  At  length  the  flames  reached 
them ;  but,  before  depriving  them  of  life,  burned  the  cords  with 
which  they  were  bound  to  the  pile.  One  of  them  taking  advantage 
of  his  liberty,  threw  himself  on  his  knees,  and  thus  worshipping 
his  Master,5  with  clasped  hands,  exclaimed, — "  Lord  Jesus,  Son 

1  Facta  est  hsec  res  Brnxellae  in  pnhlioo  foro.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  861.)    The  execution  took 

place  at  Ruiss.-U  in  the  public  mwrket  place.  2  Nondum  triginta  anno, 

rum.     (  hid.)     Not  yet  thirty  years  of  age.  s  Bit  sclrjnen  mij  als  roosen  te  ztfn. 

(Brandt  Hist,  der  llvfurmatit  i.  p.  79 )  *  ^dmoto  igni,  canere  ccpperunt  syra- 

bolum  nd.-i  says  Erasmus.     (Ep.  i,  p.  1278.)  5  Da  ist  der  eine  im  Feuer  auf  die 
Knie  getalleu.  (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  481.) 

MARTYliDOM.  121 

of  David,  have  mercy  on  us!"  The  fire  surrounded  their  bodies: 
they  sung  the  Te  Deum  laudamns.  Shortly  after  their  voice  was 
stifled  by  the  flames,  and  all  that  remained  of  them  was  their 

The  execution  had  lasted  four  hours.  It  was  on  the  1st  July, 
1523,  that  the  first  martyrs  of  the  Reformation  thus  gave  their 
lives  for  the  gospel. 

All  good  men  shuddered  when  they  heard  of  it: .  The  future 
excited  great  alarm.  "  Executions  begin,"  said  Erasmus.1  "  At 
length,"  exclaimed  Luther,  "  Jesus  Christ  gathers  some  fruit  from 
our  doctrine.  He  forms  new  martyrs." 

But  the  joy  which  Luther  felt  at  the  fidelity  of  these  two  Chris 
tian  youths  was  damped  by  the  thought  of  Lambert.  He  was  the 
most  learned  of  the  three,  and  had  taken  the  place  of  Probst,  as 
preacher,  at  Antwerp.  Agitated  in  his  dungeon,  and  afraid  of 
death,  he  was  still  more  alarmed  by  his  conscience,  which  re 
proached  him  with  his  cowardice,  and  urged  him  to  confess  the 
gospel.  Shortly  after  having  got  the  better  of  his  fears,  he  boldly 
proclaimed  the  truth,  and  died  like  his  brethren.2 

A  rich  harvest  was  produced  from  the  blood  of  these  martyrs. 
Brussels  turned  towards  the  gospel.3  "  Wherever  Aleander  raises 
a  scaffold,"  said  Erasmus,  "  the  effect  is  the  same  as  if  he  sowed 
heretics."  4 

"Your  bonds  are  my  bonds,"  exclaimed  Luther,  "your  dungeons 
my  dungeons,  and  your  scaffolds  my  scaffolds!"  5  u  We  are  all 
with  you  and  the  Lord  is  at  our  head."  He  then  wrote  a  beautiful 
poem  in  celebration  of  the  death  of  the  young  monks.  In  a  short 
time  the  poem  was  sung  in  Germany  and  the  Netherlands,  in 
town  and  country,  eveiy  where  producing  an  enthusiastic  feeling  for 
the  faith  of  the  martyrs  : — 

No !  their  ashes  will  not  die  ; 

Abroad  their  holy  dust  will  fly, 

And  scatter'd  o'er  earth's  farthest  strand, 

Raise  i^p  for  God  a  warlike  band. 

Satan,  by  taking  life  away, 

May  keep  them  silent  for  a  day  ; 

But  death  has  from  him  victory  wrung, 

And  Christ  in  every  olime  is  sung.6 

1  Cnepta  est  carnificina.    (Ep.  p.  1429.)  2  Quarta  post  exustns  est  tertius  frater 

Lambertus.     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  361.)  3  Ea  mors  multos  fecit  L'ltheranos.     (Er.  Ep.  p. 

952.)  That  death  m-ide  muny  Lutherans.  Turn  demum  ccepit  civitas  favere  Lu- 
thero.  (Tbid.,  p.  1676.)  Erasmus  to  Duke  George.  Ea  civitas  antea  purissima. 
(Ibid.,  p.  1430.)  *  Ubicunque  fumos  excitavit  nuntius,  ibi  diceres  fnisse  factam 

haereseon  sementem.    (Ibid.)  5  Vestra  viacula  inea  sunt,  vestri  carceres  et 

ignes  mei  sunt.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  464.) 

6  Die  Asche  will  nicht  lassen  ab, 
Sie  staubt  in  alien  Landen, 

Hie  hilft  kein  Bach,  Loch,  noch  Grab  .  .  .  (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  484.) 
3  F 


CHAP.  V. 

New  Pope — The  Legate  Campeggio — Diet  of  Nuremberg — Demand  of  the  Legate — 
Reply  of  the  Diet — Project  of  a  Secular  Council — Alarm  and  efforts  of  the  Pope — 
Bavaria — League  of  Ratisbon — Rigour  and  Reform — Political  Schisms — Opposi 
tion — Intrigues  of  Rome — Edict  of  Bruges — Rupture. 

Adrian  would  doubtless  have  persisted  in  violent  courses.  The 
inefficacy  of  his  attempts  to  arrest  the  Reformation,  his  orthodoxy, 
his  zeal,  his  rigour,  his  conscience  even  would  have  made  him  a 
cruel  persecutor.  Providence  put  it  out  of  his  power.  On  the 
14th  September,  1523,  he  died,  and  the  Romans,  delighted  at  their 
deliverance  from  this  rigid  stranger,  decked  the  gate  of  his  physi 
cian  with  flowers,  placing  over  them  the  inscription — "  To  the 
saviour  of  his  country." 

Julius  de  Medici,  cousin  of  Leo  X,  succeeded,  under  the  name 
of  Clement  VII.  From  the  day  of  his  election,  no  more  was 
heard  of  religious  reform.  The  new  pope,  like  many  of  his  pre 
decessors,  thought  only  of  upholding  the  privileges  of  the  pa 
pacy,  and  employing  them  as  the  means  of  extending  his  power. 

Wishing  to  repair  the  faults  of  Adrian,  Clement  sent  to  Nurem 
berg  a  legate  of  his  own  temper,  one  of  the  ablest  prelates  of  his 
court,  the  Cardinal  Campeggio,  a  man  of  great  experience  in  busi 
ness,  and  acquainted  with  almost  all  the  princes  of  Germany.  The 
legate,  who  had  been  received  with  great  pomp  in  the  towns  of 
Italy,  soon  became  aware  of  the  change  which  had  taken  place  in 
the  empire.  On  entering  Augsburg,  wishing,  according  to  custom, 
to  give  his  benediction  to  the  people,  he  was  received  with  laugh 
ter.  He  held  it  as  pronounced,  and  entered  Nuremberg  incognito, 
without  repairing  to  the  Church  of  St.  Sebald,  where  the  clergy 
were  in  attendance.  No  priests  went  before  him  in  sacerdotal 
garments,  no  crucifix  was  carried  before  him  in  state.1  One 
would  have  said  it  was  an  ordinary  individual  walking  along  the 
street.  Every  thing  announced  to  the  papacy  that  its  reign  was 
drawing  to  a  close. 

The  Diet  had  again  been  opened  at  Nuremberg,  in  January,  1524. 
A  storm  threatened  the  national  government,  which  had  owed 
its  existence  to  the  firmness  of  Frederick.  The  Suabian  league, 
the  wealthiest  towns  of  Germany,  and,  above  all,  Charles  V,  had 
vowed  its  destruction.  It  was  accused  of  favouring  the  new  heresy. 

i  Communi  habitu,  quod  per  sylvas  et  campos  ierat,  per  mediam  urbem  .  .  .  sine 
clero,  sine  prtevia  truce.  (Cochl.,  p.  8'->.) 


Accordingly,  it  was  resolved  to  renew  the  administration  without 
retaining  one  of  the  old  members.  Frederick,  in  vexation,  imme 
diately  quitted  Nuremberg. 

The  festival  of  Easter  being  at  hand,  Osiander  and  the  evange 
lical  preachers  redoubled  their  zeal.  The  former  preached  openly, 
ihat  antichrist  entered  Kome  the  very  day  Constantine  the  Great 
quitted  it  to  take  up  his  residence  at  Constantinople.  The  conse 
cration  of  branches,  and  several  of  the  other  ceremonies  of  the 
festival  were  omitted ;  four  thousand  persons  received  the  Supper 
in  both  kinds,  and  the  Queen  of  Denmark,  the  emperor's  sister, 
received  it  publicly  in  the  same  form  in  the  castle.  "  Ah  !"  ex 
claimed  the  Archduke  Ferdinand  in  a  transport  of  rage,  "  I  wish 
you  were  not  my  sister."  "  The  same  womb  earned  us,"  replied 
the  queen,  "  and  I  will  sacrifice  every  thing  to  please  you  except 
the  Word  of  God."  1 

Campeggio  shuddered  on  beholding  so  much  hardihood,  but  af 
fecting  to  despise  the  laughter  of  the  people,  and  the  sermons  of 
the  preachers,  trusting  to  the  support  of  the  emperor  and  the  pope, 
he  reminded  the  Diet  of  the  edict  of  Worms,  and  demanded  that 
the  Reformation  should  be  suppressed  by  force.  At  these  words 
several  of  the  princes  and  deputies  expressed  their  indignation. 
"  What,"  said  they  to  Campeggio,  "  have  become  of  the  grievances 
presented  to  the  pope  by  the  Germanic  nation?"  The  legate,  in 
accordance  with  his  instructions,  assumed  an  air  of  simple  aston 
ishment.  "  Three  copies  of  that  production,"  said  he,  "  reached 
Rome,  but  we  had  no  official  communication  of  it,  and  I  could  not 
believe  that  a  document  so  unbecoming  could  have  emanated  from 
your  lordships." 

The  Diet  was  indignant  at  this  reply.  If  this  is  the  way  in 
which  their  representations  are  received  by  the  pope,  they,  too,  in 
their  turn,  will  know  how  to  receive  those  which  he  may  be  pleased 
to  address  to  them.  "  The  people,"  said  several  deputies,  "  are 
thirsting  for  the  Word  of  God,  and  to  force  it  from  them,  as  or 
dered  by  the  edict  of  Worms,  were  to  cause  torrents  of  blood  to  be 

The  Diet  immediately  proceeded  to  prepare  an  answer  to  the 
pope.  Not  having  power  to  abolish  the  edict  of  Worms,  they 
appended  a  clause  which  virtually  annulled  it.  "  It  is  necessary," 
said  they,  "  to  conform  to  it  so  far  as  possible."  2  Several  States 
had  declared  that  it  was  impossible.  At  the  same  time  evoking 
the  importunate  shade  of  the  Councils  of  Constance  and  Basle,  the 

1  Wolle  sich  des  Wortes  Gottes  halten.    (Seckend.  p.  613.)  2  Quantum  eis  po*. 

•ibile  sit     .  .  (Cochl.,  p.  84.) 

3  « 


Diet  demanded  that  an  universal  Council  of  Christendom  should 
be  convened  in  Germany. 

The  friends  of  the  Reformation  did  not  stop  here.  What  was 
to  be  expected  from  a  council,  which,  perhaps,  never  would  be  called, 
and  which,  in  all  events,  would  be  composed  of  bishops  from  all 
nations?  Would  Germany  submit  its  anti-Roman  feelings  to  pre 
lates  from  Spain,  France,  England,  and  Italy  ?  The  national 
government  having  been  overthrown,  its  place  must  be  supplied 
by  a  national  assembly  to  protect  the  interests  of  the  people. 

In  vain  did  Hannaart,  who  had  beery  sent  from  Spain  by  Charles 
V,  and  all  the  partisans  of  Rome  and  the  empire,  oppose  this  pro 
ject.  The  majority  of  the  Diet  were  inflexible.  It  was  agreed 
that  a  Diet,  a  secular  assembly,  should  meet  at  Spires  in  Novem 
ber,  to  regulate  all  religious  questions,  and  that  the  States  should 
direct  their  theologians  forthwith  to  prepare  a  list  of  the  contro 
verted  points,  to  be  submitted  to  this  august  assembly. 

The  task  was  immediately  commenced.  Each  province  prepared 
its  document.  Never  had  Rome  been  threatened  with  a  mightier 
explosion.  Franconia,  Brandenburg,  Henneberg,  Windsheim, 
Wertheim,  Nuremberg,  declared,  in  evangelical  terms,  against  the 
seven  sacraments,  the  abuses  of  the  mass,  the  worship  of  saints, 
and  the  supremacy  of  the  pope.  "  Here,"  said  Luther,  "  is  money 
of  a  good  stamp."  Not  one  of  the  questions  generally  agitated 
will  be  passed  over  in  silence  in  this  national  council.  The  ma 
jority  will  obtain  general  measures The  unity  of 

Germany,  its  independence,  and  Reformation  will  be  secured. 

At  this  news  the  pope  could  not  restrain  his  anger.  What !  Is  it 
dared  to  establish  a  secular  tribunal  to  decide  on  religious  matters, 
and  that  contrary  to  his  authority  ?  l  If  this  monstrous  resolution 
is  executed,  no  doubt,  Germany  is  saved,  but  Rome  is  destroyed  ! 
A  consistory  was  assembled  in  all  haste,  and  from  the  agitated 
state  of  the  senators,  it  might  have  been  supposed  that  the  Ger 
mans  were  marching  on  the  Capital.  "  The  thing  necessary,"  said 
Aleander,  "  is  to  pluck  the  electoral  hat  from  the  head  of 
Frederick."  "  The  kings  of  England  and  Spain,"  said  another 
cardinal,  "  must  threaten  to  break  off  all  intercourse  with  the  free 
towns."  At  last  the  congregation  decided,  that  the  only  means  of 
safety  was  to  stir  up  heaven  and  earth,  in  order  to  prevent  the 
meeting  at  Spires. 

The  pope  immediately  wrote  the  emperor.  "If  I  am  the  first 
to  face  the  storm,  it  is  not  because  I  am  the  only  person  threatened 

1  PontiFex  segerrime  tulit  .  .'i'^ens  novum  de  religione  tribunal  eo  pacto 
excitari  citra  ipsius  auctoritaiem.    (Pallav.  i,  p.  182.)    The  pontiff  took  it  very  ill  •  . 
when  he  heard  that,  in  that  way,  a  new  religious  tribunal  was  erected  without  hia 



by  it,  but  because  I  sit  at  the  helm.     The  rights  of  the  empire 
are  attacked  even  more  than  the  dignity  of  the  court  of  Home." 

While  the  pope  sent  this  letter  into  Castille,  he  laboured  to  ob 
tain  allies  in  Germany.  He  had  soon  gained  one  of  the  most 
powerful  houses  of  the  empire,  that  of  the  Dukes  of  Bavaria.  The 
edict  of  Worms  had  not  been  better  observed  there  than  else 
where,  and  the  evangelical  doctrine  had  made  great  progress; 
but,  about  the  end  of  1 521,  the  princes  of  the  country  having  been 
shaken  by  Dr.  Eck,  the  Chancellor  of  the  University  of  Ingolstadt, 
had  approximated  to  Rome,  and  issued  an  edict,  by  which  they 
enjoined  all  their  subjects  to  remain  faithful  to  the  religion  of  their 

The  Bavarian  bishops  testified  their  alarm  at  the  proposed  en 
croachment  of  the  secular  power;  and  Eck  set  out  to  Home  to 
petition  the  pope  to  extend  the  influence  of  the  princes.  The  pope 
granted  every  thing,  and  even  bestowed  on  the  dukes  a  fifth  of  the 
ecclesiastical  revenues  of  their  country. 

Thus,  at  a  time  when  the  Reformation  had  not  assumed  any 
organised  form,  Roman  Catholicism  had  recourse  to  powerful  insti 
tutions  for  its  support;  and  Catholic  princes,  sanctioned  by  the 
pope,  laid  hands  on  the  revenues  of  the  Church  long  before  the 
Reformation  ventured  to  touch  them.  What,  then,  must  be 
thought  of  the  charges  which  the  Roman  Catholics  have  so  often 
made  in  this  respect  ? 

Clement  VII  could  count  upon  the  Dukes  of  Bavaria  in  quelling 
the  formidable  assembly  of  Spires.  Shortly  after,  the  Archduke 
Ferdinand,  the  Archbishop  of  Salzburg,  and  several  other  princes 
were  also  gained. 

But  this  did  not  satisfy  Campeggio.  Germany  must  be  divided 
into  two  camps.  Germans  must  be  set  against  Germans. 

During  his  stay  at  Stuttgard,  the  legate,  in  concert  with  Ferdi 
nand,  had  sketched  the  plan  of  a  league  against  the  Reformation. 
*'  There  is  every  thing  to  be  feared,"  said  he,  "  from  an  assembly, 
where  the  popular  voice  will  be  heard.  The  Diet  of  Spires  may 
destroy  Rome  and  save  Wittemberg.  Let  us  close  our  ranks  and 
arrange  our  order  of  battle."  2  Ratisbon  was  fixed  on  as  the  place 
of  rendezvous. 

Notwithstanding  of  the  jealousy  between  the  houses  of  Bavaria 
and  Austria,  Campeggio  succeeded,  in  the  end  of  June,  1524,  in 
bringing  about  a  meeting  in  this  town,  between  the  Dukes  of  Ba 
varia  and  the  Archduke  Ferdinand.  The  Archbishop  of  Salzburg, 
and  the  bishops  of  Trent  and  Ratisbon,  joined  them.  The  bishops 

1  Erstes  baierisches  Religions  Man.M.      (Winter,  Gesch.    der  Evang.  Lehre  ia 
Baiern,  i,  p.  310.)  a  Ibid.,  p,  15(i. 


of  Spires,  Bamberg,  Augsburg,  Strasburg,  Basle,  Constance,  Frei 
singen,  Passau,  and  Brixen,  were  represented  by  deputies. 

The  legate  opened  the  meeting,  with  an  energetic  picture  of  tho 
dangers  to  which  the  Reformation  exposed  the  princes  and  clergy. 
"  Let  us  extirpate  heresy,  and  save  the  Church,"  exclaimed  he. 

The  conferences  continued  during  fifteen  days  in  the  town-house 
of  Ratisbon.  A  grand  ball,  which  was  kept  up  during  a  whole 
night,  enlivened  this  first  Catholic  assembly,  held  by  the  papacy 
against  the  rising  Reformation.1  The  measures  intended  to  destroy 
the  heretics  were  afterwards  resolved, 

The  princes  and  bishops  engaged  to  execute  the  edicts  of  Worms 
and  Nuremberg — to  allow  no  change  in  public  worship — to  give 
no  toleration  within  their  States  to  any  married  ecclesiastic — to 
recall  all  the  students  belonging  to  their  States  who  might  be  at 
Wittemberg,  and  to  employ  all  the  means  in  their  power  for  the 
extirpation  of  heresy.  In  regard  to  difiicult  passages  of  Scripture, 
preachers  were  enjoined  to  confine  themselves  to  the  interpretation 
given  by  the  fathers  of  the  Latin  Church,  viz.,  Ambrose,  Jerome, 
Augustine,  and  Gregory.  Not  daring,  in  presence  of  the  Refor 
mation,  to  re-establish  the  authority  of  the  schoolmen,  they  con 
tented  themselves  with  laying  the  first  foundations  of  Roman 

On  the  other  hand,  not  being  able  to  shut  their  eyes  to  the  scandals 
and  corrupt  manners  of  the  priests,2  they  agreed  on  a  scheme  of 
reform,  in  which  they  agreed  to  pay  regard  to  those  German  griev 
ances  in  which  the  court  of  Rome  were  least  concerned.  Priests 
were  forbidden  to  engage  in  trade,  to  haunt  taverns,  frequent 
dances,  and  engage  over  the  bottle  in  discussing  articles  of  faith. 

Such  was  the  result  of  the  confederation  of  Ratisbon.3  Whilo 
taking  up  arms  against  the  Reformation,  Rome  conceded  some 
what  to  it.  In  these  resolutions  may  be  observed  the  first  influ 
ence  of  the  Reformation  of  the  sixteenth  century,  in  effecting  an 
internal  revival  in  Catholicism.  The  gospel  cannot  display  its 
power  without  compelling  its  opponents  in  some  way  to  imitate  it. 
Emser  had  opposed  a  translation  of  the  Bible  to  the  translation  01 
Luther,  and  Eck  Common  Places  to  those  of  Melancthon;4  and 
now  Rome  opposed  to  the  Reformation  those  partial  attempts 
at  reform  to  which  we  owe  modem  Catholicism.  But  all  these 
acts  of  Rome  were  in  reality  only  subtile  expedients  to 
escape  from  the  danger  which  threatened  her,  branches  plucked, 

1  Ranke.  Deutsche  Gesch.  ii,  p.  159.  2  Improbis  clericorum  abusibus  et  perditis 

moribus.  (Cochl.  p.  91.)  The  wicked  abuses  and  abandoned  morals  of  the  clergy. 

3  Ut  Lutheran*  faction!  efficacius  resistere  possint,  ultronea  confederatione  sese 
constrixerunt  (Ibid.)  That  they  might  the  more  effectually  resist  the  Lutheran 
fiction,  they  voluntarily  entered  into  a  confederacy.  *  Enchiridion,  seu  Loci  Com- 
munescontraHffireticos.,  1525. 


k  is  true,  from  the  tree  of  the  Reformation,  but  planted  in  a  soil 
in  which  they  could  only  die.  Life  was  wanting,  and  always  will 
be  wanting,  to  similar  attempts. 

We  are  here  presented  with  another  fact.  At  Ratisbon  the 
Roman  party  formed  the  first  league  which  destroyed  German 
unity.  It  was  in  the  camp  of  the  pope  that  the  signal  for  battle 
was  given.  Ratisbon  was  the  cradle  of  that  schism — that  political 
disruption  of  Germany,  which  still,  in  our  day,  so  many  Germans 
deplore.  The  national  assembly  of  Spires  might,  by  sanctioning 
and  generalising  the  Reformation  of  the  Church,  have  secured  the 
unity  of  the  empire.  The  separatist  conventicle  of  Ratisbon  rent 
the  nation  for  ever  into  two  parties. x 

Meanwhile  the  projects  of  Campeggio  did  not  at  first  succeed  so 
well  as  had  been  imagined.  Few  princes  responded  to  the  call.  The 
most  decided  opponents  of  Luther,  Duke  George  of  Saxony,  the 
Elector  Joachim  of  Brandenburg,  the  ecclesiastical  electors,  and  the 
imperial  towns  took  no  part  in  it.  The  feeling  was,  that  the  pope's 
legate  was  forming  in  Germany  a  Roman  party  against  the  nation 
itself.  The  popular  sympathies  counterbalanced  the  religious  an 
tipathies,  and  the  Reformation  of  Ratisbon  soon  became  the  object 
of  popular  derision.  But  the  first  step  was  taken :  the  example 
was  given.  It  was  thought  that  there  would  afterwards  be  little 
difficulty  in  strengthening  and  extending  the  Roman  league.  Those 
who  still  hesitated  would  find  it  impossible  to  avoid  being  hurried 
along  by  the  progress  of  events.  To  the  legate  Campeggio  belongs 
the  honour  of  having  discovered  the  mine  which  brought  the 
Germanic  liberties  within  a  finger's  breadth  of  destruction.  Thence 
forth  Luther's  cause  ceased  to  be  entirely  of  a  religious  nature  ; 
the  dispute  of  the  monk  of  Wittemberg  held  a  place  in  the  politics 
of  Europe.  Luther  is  going  to  be  eclipsed,  and  Charles  V,  the 
pope,  and  the  princes  will  be  the  principal  characters  on  the 
theatre  where  the  great  drama  of  the  sixteenth  century  is  to  be 

The  assembly  of  Spires,  however,  was  still  in  perspective :  it 
might  repair  the  mischief  which  Campeggio  had  done  at  Ratisbon. 
Rome,  therefore,  used  every  effort  to  prevent  it.  "What!"  said 
the  deputies  of  the  pope,  not  only  to  Charles  Y,  but  to  his  ally 
Henry  VIII  and  the  princes  of  Christendom,  "  What !  do  those 
proud  Germans  pretend  to  decide  questions  of  faith  in  a  national 
assembly !  Apparently,  kings,  the  imperial  majesty,  all  Christendom, 
the  whole  world  will  be  obliged  to  stoop  to  their  decrees." 

The  moment  was  well  chosen  for  influencing  the  emperor.  The 
war  between  this  prince  and  Francis  I  was  at  its  height.  Pescara 

1  Ranke  Deutsche  Geseh.  ii,  p.  163. 


and  the  Constable  de  Bourbon  had  quitted  Italy  in  May,  andt 
having  entered  France,  laid  siege  to  Marseilles.  The  pope,  who  did 
not  regard  this  attack  with  a  friendly  eye,  was  able  to  make  a 
powerful  diversion  in  the  rear  of  the  imperial  army.  Charles,  who 
must  have  been  afraid  to  displease  him,  did  not  hesitate,  but  at 
once  sacrificed  the  independence  of  the  emperor  for  the  favour  of 
Home  and  the  success  of  his  struggle  with  France. 

On  the  15th  July,  Charles,  at  Burgos  in  Castille,  issued  an  edict 
in  which,  in  an  imperious  and  impassioned  tone,  he  declared  "  that 
it  belonged  to  the  pope  alone  to  assemble  a  council — to  the  em 
peror  alone  to  ask  it :  that  the  meeting  fixed  to  take  place  at 
Spires  could  not,  and  would  not,  be  tolerated  :  that  it  was  strange 
in  the  German  nation  to  undertake  a  work  which  all  the  other 
nations  of  the  world,  even  with  the  pope,  would  not  be  entitled  to 
do ;  that  the  proper  course  was  to  hasten  the  execution  of  the 
decree  of  Worms  against  the  new  Mahomet." 

Thus,  from  Spain  and  Italy  proceeded  the  stroke  which  arrested 
the  progress  of  the  gospel  in  Germany.  This  did  not  satisfy 
Charles.  In  1519  he  had  offered  to  Duke  John,  the  Elector's 
brother,  to  marry  his  sister,  the  Archduchess  Catherine,  to  John 
Frederick,  the  duke's  son,  and  heir  to  ^e  electorate.  But  was  not 
this  the  house  of  Saxony  which  maintained  the  principles  of  reli 
gious  and  political  independence  in  Saxony,  and  which  Charles 
hated  ?  He  determined  to  break  entirely  with  the  troublesome  and 
criminal  representative  of  evangelical  and  national  ideas,  and  gave 
his  sister  in  marriage  to  John  III,  king  of  Portugal.  Frederick 
who,  in  1519,  had  been  indifferent  to  the  overtures  of  the  king  of 
Spain,  was  able,  in  1524,  to  suppress  the  indignation  he  felt  at 
the  emperor's  conduct,  but  Duke  John  keenly  expressed  what  ho 
felt  at  the  blow  thus  inflicted. 

Thus  the  twc  hostile  camps  which  were  long  to  rend  the  empire 
became  more  distinctly  marked. 


Persecution — Gaspard  Tauber — A.  Bookseller — Cruelties  in  Wurtemberg,  Salzburg, 
Bavaria,  Pomerania — Henry  of  Zuphten. 

The  Romish  party  did  not  stop  here.  The  alliance  of  Ratisbon 
was  not  to  be  a  mere  form.  It  was  necessary  that  it  should  be  seal 
ed  with  blood.  Ferdinand  and  Campeggio  went  down  the  Danube 
together  from  Ratisbon  to  Vienna,  and,  during  the  voyage,  gave  to 


each  other  promises  of  cruelty.  Persecution  immediately  com 
menced  in  the  Austrian  states. 

A  citizen  of  Venice,  named  Gaspard  Tauber,  had  circulated  the 
works  of  Luther,  and  had  himself  written  against  the  invocation 
of  saints,  purgatory,  and  transubstantiation.1  Being  thrown  into 
prison,  he  was  summoned  by  the  judges,  as  well  theologians  as 
lawyers,  to  retract  his  errors.  It  was  thought  that  he  was  willing 
to  do  so,  and  every  thing  was  prepared  to  give  the  people  of  Vienna 
the  solemr  "pectacle.  On  the  birth-day  of  Mary,  two  desks  were 
erected  in  the  cemetery  of  St.  Stephen,  the  one  for  the  leader  of 
the  choir,  who  was  to  chant  in  celebration  of  the  heretic's  repent 
ance,  and  the  other  for  Tauber  himself.  The  form  of  recantation 
was  put  into  his  hand : 2  the  people,  the  singers,  and  the  priests 
were  waiting  in  silence.  Whether  Tauber  had  not  given  any 
promise,  or  whether,  at  the  moment  of  abjuration,  his  faith  suddenly 
revived  with  new  force,  he  exclaimed,  u  I  am  not  convinced,  and 
I  appeal  to  the  Holy  Roman  Empire."  The  ecclesiastics,  the  choir, 
and  the  people  were  amazed.  But  Tauber  continued  to  demand 
death  sooner  than  deny  the  gospel.  He  was  beheaded,  and  his 
body  was  burnt.3  His  courage  made  a  lasting  impression  on  the 
citizens  of  Vienna. 

At  Bude,  in  Hungary,  an  evangelical  bookseller,  named  John, 
had  circulated  the  New  Testament,  and  Luther's  writings,  through 
out  the  country.  He  was  tied  to  a  stake,  then  all  his  books  were 
gradually  piled  around  him,  and  set  on  fire.  John  displayed  un 
shaken  courage,  exclaiming,  from  the  midst  of  the  flames,  that  he 
was  happy  in  suffering  for  the  Lord.4  "  Blood  succeeds  blood,"  ex 
claimed  Luther,  on  hearing  of  his  death,  "  but  this  noble  blood 
which  Rome  is  pleased  to  shed,  will  at  length  suffocate  the  pope 
with  all  his  kingdoms  and  all  his  kings."  5 

Fanaticism  became  more  and  more  inflamed :  evangelical 
ministers  were  driven  from  their  churches ;  magistrates  were 
banished :  sometimes  dreadful  executions  took  place.  In  Wur- 
temberg  an  inquisitor  named  Reichler,  caused  the  Lutherans,  and 
especially  their  preachers,  to  be  hung  on  trees.  Barbarians  were 
seen  coolly  nailing  ministers  to  the  stake  by  the  tongue,  so  that 
the  poor  sufferers  in  struggling  or  tearing  themselves  from  the 

1  Atque  etiam  proprios  ipse  tractatus  perFcripserirn.  (Coch.  p.  92,  verso.)  I  have 
also  read  tracts  by  himself.  2  ><ee  Cooli.,  Ib.  Cum  i^itur  ego  Casparus  Tauber. 

etc.  3  Cr<id<»  te  vidisse  Casparis  Tauber  histortam  rnartyris  novi  Viennae,  quern 

caesum  capite  scrilmnt  et  i<;iie  exusturn  pro  verbo  Dei.  (Luther  to  Ilausmann,  12  No». 
1524,  ii,  p.  5S3.)  I  believe  y,,u  have  seen  the  account  of  Gaspard  Tauber  the  new 
martyr,  at  Vienna,  who  is  said  to  have  been  beheaded  and  burnt  in  the  flames  for  thft 
Word  Of  Cod.  *  Idem  ncudit  Bud.-e  iu  Unparia  bibliopolse  cuidam  Johannf. 

simul  cmn  libiis  circa  eum  positis  exiisto.  fortissimeque  passo  pro  Domino.  (Ibid.) 

5  Sanguis  sanguinem  tangit,  qui  suffocabit  papam  cum  regibus  et  reguis  sais 
(It-id.)  x  2 


wood  to  which  they  were  fastened,  to  regain  their  liberty  were  hor 
ribly  mutilated,  and  thus  were  made  the  instruments  of  depriving 
themselves  of  that  gift  of  speech,  Avhich  they  had  long  employed  in 
preaching  the  gospel.1 

The  same  persecutions  were  earned  on  in  the  other  States  of  the 
Catholic  League.  An  evangelical  minister  of  Salzburg  was  on  the 
way  to  prison,  where  he  would  have  ended  his  days.  While  the  of 
ficers,  who  had  him  in  charge,  were  drinking  in  an  inn  on  the  road, 
two  peasants,  moved  with  compassion,  eluded  their  vigilance,  and 
delivered  the  pastor.  The  wrath  of  the  archbishop  was  inflamed 
against  the  poor  youths ;  and,  without  any  legal  process,  he  gave 
orders  that  they  should  be  beheaded.  They  were  led  away  secretly, 
at  an  early  hour,  beyond  the  town.  When  they  arrived  at  the 
spot  where  they  were  to  suffer,  the  executioner  himself  hesitated : 
"  for,"  said  he,  "  they  have  not  been  tried."  "  Do  what  I  command 
you,"  sharply  replied  the  commissary  of  the  archbishop,  "  and  leave 
the  responsibility  to  the  prince ! "  And  the  heads  of  the  young 
deliverers  immediately  fell  under  the  sword.2 

Persecution  raged  especially  in  the  States  of  the  Dukes  of 
Bavaria :  the  priests  were  deposed,  and  the  nobles  banished 
from  their  castles ;  informers  were  employed  over  the  whole 
country  ;  distrust  and  terror  reigned  in  all  hearts.  A  magistrate, 
name'!  Bernard  Fichtel,  was  journeying  to  Nuremberg  on  the  affairs 
of  the  duke  ;  on  the  highway  he  fell  in  with  Francis  Bnrkhard,  pro 
fessor  at  Ingolstadt,  a  friend  of  Dr.  Eck.  Burkhard  accosted  him, 
and  they  travelled  on  together.  After  supper,  the  professor  began 
to  speak  of  religion.  Fichtel,  being  aware  of  his  companion, 
reminded  him  that  the  new  edict  prohibited  such  conversation. 
"Between  us,"  replied  Burkhard,  "there  is  no  room  for  fear." 
Fichtel  then  said,  "I  do  not  believe  that  this  edict  can  ever  be  exe 
cuted,"  and  expressed  himself  in  an  equivocal  manner  on  the  subject 
of  purgatory.  He  added  that  it  was  a  horrible  thing  to  inflict 
death  for  religious  opinions.  At  these  words  Burkhard  could  not 
restrain  himself.  "  What  more  just,"  exclaimed  he,  "  than  to  cut 
off  the  heads  of  all  these  villains  of  Lutherans  !"  He,  however, 
parted  with  Fichtel  on  good  terms,  but  hastened  to  inform  upon 
him.  Fichtel  was  cast  into  prison  ;  and  the  poor  man,  who  had 
never  thought  of  becoming  a  martyr,  and  whose  convictions  were 
not  deep,  only  escaped  death  by  the  disgrace  of  a  recantation. 
There  was  now  no  safety  any  where  :  not  even  in  the  bosom  of  a 

But  the  death  which  Fichtel  escaped,  others  met.     In  vain  was 

1  Kanke  Deutsche  Gesch.  ii,  p.  174.  s  Zauner,  Salzburger  Chronik,  iv,  p.  38J- 


it  to  preach  the  gospel  only  in  secret.1  The  dukes  persecuted  it 
in  the  shade,  in  concealment,  under  the  roofs  of  houses,  in  secret 
retreats,  in  the  fields. 

"  The  cross  and  persecution,"  said  Luther,  "  reign  in  Bavaria  : 
these  ferocious  beasts  carry  it  with  fury."  2 

Even  the  north  of  Germany  was  not  sheltered  from  these  cruel 
ties.  Bogislas,  Duke  of  Pomerania,  having  died,  his  son,  who 
had  been  brought  up  at  the  court  of  Duke  George,  persecuted  the 
gospel ;  Suaren  and  Knipstraw  were  obb'ged  to  save  themselves  by 

But  it  was  in  Holstein  that  one  of  the  strongest  instances  of  fan 
aticism  was  given. 

Henry  of  Zuphten,  who  had  escaped,  as  we  have  seen,  from  the 
convent  of  Antwerp,  was  preaching  the  gospel  at  Bremen  ;  Nicho 
las  Boye,  pastor  at  Mehldorf,  in  the  Dittmarches,  and  several  pious 
persons  in  that  district  having  invited  him  to  preach  the  gospel 
to  them,  he  complied.  Forthwith,  the  prior  of  the  Dominican, 
and  the  vicar  of  the  official  of  Hamburg,  consulted  together.  "  If 
he  preaches,  and  the  people  listen  to  him,"  said  they,  "  all  is  lost!" 
The  prior,  after  a  wakeful  night,  got  up  early  in  the  morning,  and 
proceeded  to  the  wild  and  sterile  moor,  where  the  forty-eight  re 
gents  of  the  country  usually  assembled.  u  The  monk  of  Bremen  is 
arrived,"  said  he  to  them,  "  to  ruin  all  the  Dittmarches."  These 
forty-eight  simple  and  ignorant  men,  who  were  assured  that  they 
would  acquire  great  renown  by  ridding  the  world  of  the  heretical 
monk,  resolved  to  put  him  to  death  without  having  either  seen  or 
heard  him. 

It  was  Saturday,  and  the  prior  wishing  to  prevent  Hemy 
from  preaching  on  Sunday,  arrived  at  midnight  at  the  house  of 
pastor  Boye,  with  the  letter  of  the  forty-eight  regents.  "  If  it 
is  God's  will  that  I  die  in  the  Dittmarches,"  said  Henry  Zuphten, 
"  heaven  is  as  near  there  as  anj  where  else.3  I  shall  preach." 

He  mounted  the  pulpit  and  preached  powerfully.  The  hearers, 
touched  and  inflamed  by  his  eloquence,  had  scarcely  left  the  church 
when  the  prior  put  into  their  hands  a  letter  from  the  forty-eight 
regents,  forbidding  them  to  allow  the  monk  to  preach.  They  im 
mediately  sent  their  representatives  to  the  heath,  and,  after  long 
debate,  the  Dittmarches  agreed  that,  considering  their  complete 
ignorance  of  the  matter,  they  would  wait  till  Easter.  But  the 
enraged  prior  waited  on  some  of  the  regents,  and  anew  inflamed 
their  zeal.  "  We  will  write  him,"  said  they.  "  Beware  of  doing 

1  Verbi  non  palam  seminati.     (L.  Ep.  ii.  p.  559.)  2  jn  Bavaria  multum  rcgnat 

crux  et  persecutio  ....  (Ibid.)  3  i)er  Hiramel  ware  da  so  nalie  als  anderswo. 

L.  Op.  xix,  330.) 


so,"  replied  the  prior ;  "  if  he  begins  to  speak,  nothing  can  be  done 
to  him.  He  must  be  seized  during  the  night,  and  burnt  before 
he  can  open  his  mouth." 

It  was  so  resolved.  The  day  after  the  feast  of  the  Conception, 
after  it  was  night,  the  Ave  Maria  was  tolled.  At  this  signal,  all  the 
peasants  of  the  neighbouring  villages  assembled,  to  the  number  of 
five  hundred,  and  their  leaders  having  caused  five  hogsheads  of 
Hamburgh  beer  to  be  pierced,  in  this  way  inspired  them  with  great 
courage.  Midnight  struck  as  they  reached  Mehldorf.  The  peasants 
were  armed ;  the  monks  carried  torches  ;  the  whole  proceeded, 
without  order,  uttering  furious  cries.  On  arriving  at  the  village, 
they  kept  a  profound  silence  lest  Henry  should  escape. 

The  doors  of  the  curacy  were  suddenly  burst  open,  and  the 
drunken  peasants  rushed  in,  striking  at  every  thing  that  came  in 
their  way.  They  threw  down  vases,  kettles,  goblets,  clothes, 
snatched  up  whatever  gold  or  silver  they  could  find,  and  pouncing 
on  the  poor  pastor,  struck  him,  crying,  "Kill  him!  kill  him!" 
They  then  threw  him  into  the  mire.  But  Henry  was  their  ob 
ject.  They  pulled  him  from  his  bed,  bound  his  hands  behind  his 
back,  and  dragged  him  after  them.  "  What  brought  you  here?" 
they  asked.  Henry  having  answered  mildly,  they  exclaimed, 
"Away!  away!  if  we  listen  to  him  we  will  become  heretics  like 
himself."  He  had  been  hurried  naked  over  the  ice  and  snow,  his 
feet  were  bleeding,  and  he  begged  they  would  put  him  on  horse 
back.  "  Good  sooth,"  replied  they  in  derision,  "  we  are  going  to 
furnish  heretics  with  horses !  Get  along !"  And  they  continued 
to  drag  him  till  they  reached  the  heath.  A  woman,  who  was  at 
the  door  of  her  house,  as  the  poor  servant  of  God  passed,  began  to 
cry.  "Good  woman,"  said  Henry  to  her,  "weep  not  for  me." 
The  bailie  pronounced  his  condemnation.  Then  one  of  the  furious 
men  who  had  brought  him,  struck  the  servant  of  Jesus  Christ  over 
the  head  with  a  sword :  another  struck  him  with  a  club.  Next 
a  poor  monk  was  brought  to  receive  his  confession.  "  Brother," 
said  Henry  to  him,  "  did  I  ever  do  you  any  harm?"  "  No,"  re 
plied  the  monk.  "  Then  I  have  nothing  to  confess  to  you."  The 
monk  withdrew  in  confusion.  Many  ineffectual  attempts  were 
made  to  light  the  pile.  In  this  way  the  martyr  stood  for  two 
hours  before  these  furious  peasants — calm,  and  with  his  eyes  raised 
towards  heaven.  As  they  were  binding  him  to  throw  him  on  the 
pile,  he  began  to  make  confession  of  his  faith.  "  Burn  first,''  said 
a  peasant,  striking  him  on  the  mouth  with  his  fist,  "  and  you  will 
speak  after."  He  was  thrown  down,  but  fell  on  the  side  of  the  pile. 
John  Holme,  seizing  a  club,  struck  him  on  the  breast,  and  he  lay 
stretched  out  dead  on  the  burnii1^  faggots.  "  Such  is  the  true 


history  of  the  sufferings  of  the  holy  martyr,  Henry  of  Zuph- 


Divisions — Lord's  Supper — Two  Extremes — Carlstadt — Luther — Mysticism  of  the 
Anabaptists — Carlstadt  at  Orlamund — Mission  of  Luther — Interview  at  dinner — 
Conference  of  Orlamund — Carlstadt  banished. 

The  Eeformation,  while  the  Romish  party  were  every  where 
drawing  the  sword  against  it,  was  undergoing  new  developments. 
It  is  not  at  Zurich  or  Geneva,  but  at  Wittemberg,  the  centre  of 
the  Lutheran  revival,  that  we  must  trace  the  beginnings  of  that 
Reformed  Church,  of  which  Calvin  has  become  the  greatest  doctor. 
These  two  great  families  slept  in  the  same  cradle.  The  union 
ought  also  to  have  crowned  their  age.  But  the  question  of  the 
Supper  having  been  once  raised,  Luther  violently  rejected  the  re 
formed  element,  and  found  himself  and  his  Church  in  an  exclusive 
Lutheranism.  The  chagrin  which  he  felt  at  this  rival  doctrine 
deprived  him  somewhat  of  the  good  humour  which  was  natural  to 
him,  and  gave  him  a  spirit  of  distrust,  a  habitual  dissatisfaction 
and  irritation,  which  he  had  not  shown  previously. 

It  was  between  two  old  friends — between  the  champions,  who, 
at  Leipsic,  had  fought  together  against  Rome — between  Carlstadt 
and  Luther  that  this  dispute  arose.  Their  attachment  to  contrary 
doctrines  proceeded,  both  in  the  one  and  in  the  other,  from  estimable 
feelings.  In  fact,  there  are  two  extremes  in  religion;  the  one 
consists  in  materialising,  the  other  in  spiritualising  every  thing. 
The  former  is  the  extreme  of  Rome — the  latter  that  of  the  mystics. 
Religion,  like  man  himself,  consists  of  body  and  soul;  the  pure 
idealists,  as  well  as  the  materialists,  are  equally  wrong  both  in 
religion  and  in  philosophy. 

Such  is  the  grand  discussion  which  lies  hid  under  the  dispute  as 
to  the  Supper.  While,  on  a  superficial  glance,  we  see  only  a 
paltry  quarrel  about  words,  a  more  profound  examination  discovers 
in  it  one  of  the  most  important  controversies  which  can  occupy 
the  human  mind. 

The  Reformers  thus  form  two  great  divisions;  but  each  of  them 
carries  with  it  a  portion  of  the  truth.  Luther,  with  his  adherents, 
mean  to  combat  an  exaggerated  spiritualism.  Carlstadt,  and  the 
reformed,  attack  a  hateful  materialism.  Each  opposes  the  error 

1  Das  ist  die  wahre  Historic,  etc.     (L.  Op.  xix,  p.  333. 


which  he  deems  most  fatal,  and,  in  opposing  it,  perhaps  goes  be  • 
yond  the  truth.  But  no  matter;  each  of  them  is  true  in  its  general 
tendency,  and  though  belonging  to  different  armies,  these  two 
distinguished  doctors  are  ranged  under  one  common  banner — that 
of  Jesus  Christ,  who  alone  is  the  truth  in  its  fullest  extent. 

Carlstadt  thought  that  nothing  could  be  more  hurtful  to  true 
piety  than  confidence  in  external  ceremonies,  and  in  a  certain 
magical  influence  in  the  sacraments.  Rome  had  said,  that  external 
participation  in  the  sacrament  of  the  Supper  was  sufficient  to  save, 
and  this  principle  had  materialised  religion.  Carlstadt  saw  nothing 
better  fitted  to  spiritualise  it  anew  than  to  deny  all  bodily  pre 
sence  of  Christ;  and  he  taught  that  the  sacred  repast  was  merely 
a  pledge  to  believers  of  their  redemption. 

On  this  subject  Luther  took  quite  an  opposite  direction.  He  had 
at  the  outset  maintained  the  view  which  has  just  been  indicated. 
In  his  writing  on  the  mass,  which  appeared  in  1520,  he  said,  "  I 
can  every  day  enjoy  the  sacraments,  if  only  I  remember  the  word 
and  promise  of  Christ,  and  with  it  nourish  and  strengthen  my 
faith."  Neither  Carlstadt,  Zuinglius,  nor  Calvin,  has  ever  said 
any  thing  stronger.  It  even  seems  that,  at  this  period,  the  idea 
often  occurred  to  him,  that  a  symbolical  explanation  of  the  Supper 
would  be  the  most  powerful  weapon  completely  to  overthrow  the 
whole  popish  system;  for  in  1525  he  says  that,  five  years  before, 
he  had  fought  many  hard  battles  in  defence  of  this  doctrine  j1  and 
that  any  one  who  could  have  proved  to  him  that  there  was  nothing 
but  bread  and  wine  in  the  Supper,  would  have  done  him  an  im 
mense  service. 

But  new  circumstances  occurred,  which  engaged  him  in  an  oppo 
sition,  sometimes  passionate,  to  these  very  views  to  which  he  had 
so  nearly  approximated.  The  fanaticism  of  the  Anabaptists  ex 
plain  the  direction  which  Luther  then  took.  These  enthusiasts 
were  not  satisfied  with  setting  little  value  on  what  they  called  the 
external  word,  in  other  words,  the  Bible,  and  pretending  to  special 
revelations  of  the  Holy  Spirit ;  they  also  went  the  length  of  despising 
the  sacrament  of  the  Supper  as  something  external,  and  to  speak 
of  internal  communion  as  alone  true.  Thenceforth,  in  all  the 
attempts  which  were  made  to  explain  the  doctrine  of  the  Supper 
in  a  symbolical  manner,  Luther  saw  nothing  but  the  danger  of 
shaking  the  authority  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  of  substituting  ar 
bitrary  allegories  for  their  true  meaning,  of  spiritualising  every 
thing  in  religion,  making  it  consist  not  in  divine  graces  but  in 
human  impressions ;  and  thus  substituting  for  true  Christianity  a 
mysticism,  a  theosophy,  a  fanaticism,  which  would  inevitably  be- 

i  Ich  babe  wohl  so  harte  Anfechtungen  da  erlitten.    (L.  Ep.  p.  577.) 


come  its  tomb.  It  must  be  acknowledged  that,  but  for  the  power 
ful  opposition  of  Luther,  the  mystical,  enthusiastic,  and  subjective 
tendency,  would  then,  in  all  probability,  have  made  rapid  progress, 
and  trampled  under  foot  all  the  blessings  which  the  Reformation 
was  destined  to  diffuse  in  the  world. 

Carlstadt,  impatient  at  not  being  able  freely  to  develope  his  faith 
at  Wittemberg,  urged  by  his  conscience  to  combat  a  system,  which, 
according  to  him,  "  lowered  the  death  of  Christ,  and  .annihilated 
his  righteousness,"  resolved  "  to  make  an  outbreak  for  the  love  of 
poor  deluded  Christendom."  He  quitted  Wittemberg  in  the  begin 
ning  of  1524,  without  notice  either  to  the  university  or  the  chapter, 
and  repaired  to  the  little  town  of  Orlamund,  whose  church  was 
under  his  superintendence.  He  caused  the  vicar  to  be  deposed, 
and  himself  to  be  appointed  pastor  in  his  stead ;  and  in  spite  of  the 
chapter,  the  university,  and  the  Elector,  fixed  himself  in  this  new 

Here  he  soon  disseminated  his  doctrine.  "  It  is  impossible,"  said 
be,  "  to  find  in  the  real  presence  any  advantage  which  does  not 
flow  from  faith  without  it;  it  is  therefore  useless."  In  explaining 
the  words  of  Christ  in  the  institution  of  the  supper,  he  had  recourse 
to  an  interpretation  which  the  Reformed  Churches  have  not  re 
ceived.  In  the  Leipsic  discussion,  Luther  had  explained  the 
words,  "  Thou  art  Peter,  and  on  this  rock  I  will  build  my  Church" 
by  separating  the  two  clauses,  and  applying  the  latter  to  the  per 
son  of  the  Saviour.  "  In  the  same  way,"  said  Carlstadt,  "  take, 
eat,  refers  to  the  bread ;  but,  this  is  my  body,  refers  to  Jesus  Christ, 
who  then  showed  himself,  and  intimated  by  the  symbolical  sign  of 
the  breaking  of  bread,  that  the  body  was  soon  to  be  destroyed." 

Carlstadt  did  not  stop  here.  No  sooner  had  he  broke  loose  from 
the  tutelage  of  Luther,  than  he  felt  a  revival  of  his  zeal  against 
images.  His  imprudent  harangues,  his  enthusiastic  expressions, 
must  easily,  in  these  times  of  fermentation,  have  inflamed  men's 
minds.  The  people,  thinking  they  heard  a  second  Elijah,  broke  the 
idols  of  Baal.  This  zeal  reached  the  surrounding  villages.  The 
Elector  wished  to  interfere ;  but  the  peasants  answered  him,  that  it 
was  necessary  to  obey  God  rather  than  man.  The  prince  resolved 
to  send  Luther  to  Orlamund  to  establish  peace.  Luther  saw  in 
i  Carlstadt  a  man  devoured  by  a  love  of  renown,1  a  fanatic,  who 
would  allow  himself  to  be  carried  the  length  of  making  war  on 
Jesus  Christ  himself.  Frederick  might,  perhaps,  have  made  a 
wiser  choice.  Luther  set  out,  and  Carlstadt  saw  his  troublesome 
rival  once  more  disarranging  his  plans  of  reform,  and  arresting  his 

J  Hue  pe  pulit  eum  insana  glorias  et  laudis  libido.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  551.)  To  this  an 
Ilisaue  thirst  for  praise  and  glory  impelled  him. 


Jena  is  on  the  road  to  Orlamund.  On  arriving  in  this  town,  on 
the  23rd  August,  Luther  mounted  the  pulpit  at  seven  in  the  mom- 
ing,  and  spoke  for  an  hour  and  a  half  in  presence  of  a  numerous 
audience,  against  fanaticism,  rebellion,  the  destruction  of  images, 
and  contempt  of  the  real  presence,  in  particular,  inveighing  strongly 
against  the  innovations  of  Orlamund.  He  did  not  name  Carlstadt, 
but  every  one  could  see  that  he  had  him  in  view. 

Carlstadt,  whether  by  chance  or  design,  was  at  Jena,  and 
among  the  number  of  Luther's  hearers.  He  hesitated  not  to  apply 
for  an  explanation  of  the  discourse.  Luther  was  at  dinner  with 
the  prior  of  Wittemberg,  the  burgomaster,  the  clerk,  and  pastor 
of  Jena,  and  several  officers  in  the  service  of  the  emperor  and  the 
margrave,  when  a  letter  from  Carlstadt  was  put  into  his  hands, 
asking  an  interview  ;  he  handed  it  to  those  next  him,  and  replied  to 
the  bearer,  "If  poctor  Carlstadt  chooses  to  come  to  me,  well; 
if  he  does  not  choose  to  do  so,  I  will  dispense  with  it."  Carlstadt 
arrived.  His  arrival  produced  a  strong  sensation  in  the  party. 
The  greater  part  eager  to  see  the  two  lions  at  close  quarters,  ceased 
dining  and  stared,  while  the  more  timid  grew  pale  with  fear. 

Carlstadt,  on  the  invitation  of  Luther,  sat  down  opposite  to 
him,  and  then  said,  "  Doctor,  in  your  sermon  to-day  you  put  me 
in  the  same  class  with  those  who  preach  rebellion  and  assassina 
tion.  I  say  that  charge  is  false." 

Luther. — u  I  did  not  name  you,  but  since  you  have  felt  hit,  good 
and  well." 

After  a  moment  of  silence,  Carlstadt  resumed. 

"  I  engage  to  prove,  that,  on  the  doctrine  of  the  Sacrament,  you 
have  contradicted  yourself,  and  that  no  man,  since  the  days  of  the 
apostles,  has  taught  it  so  purely  as  I  have  done." 

Luther. — "  Write — debate!" 

Carlstadt. — "  I  challenge  you  to  a  public  discussion  at  Wittem 
berg  or  Erfurth,  if  you  procure  me  a  safe-conduct." 

Luther. — "  Fear  nothing  doctor." 

Carlstadt. — "  You  bind  me  hand  and  foot,  and  when  you  have 
put  it  out  of  my  power  to  defend  myself,  you  strike  me." 1 

There  was  a  pause.     Luther  resumed. 

"  Write  against  me,  but  publicly,  not  in  secret." 

Carlstadt. — "  If  I  thought  you  were  speaking  in  earnest  I  would 
do  so." 

Luther. — "  Do  it,  and  I'll  give  you  a  florin." 

Carlstadt. — "  Give  it,  I  accept  it." 

At  these  words,  Luther  put  his  hand  in  his  pocket  and  drew  out 
a  gold  florin,  and  giving  it  to  Carlstadt,  said,  "  Take  it,  and  attack 
me  valiantly." 

1  Ihr  bandet  mir  Hande  et  FUsse,  darnach  schlugt  Ihr  mich,    (L.  Op.  xix,  p.  150.) 


Carlstadt,  holding  the  gold  florin  in  his  hand,  turned  to  the 
party,  and  said,  "  Dear  friends,  this  is  my  arrhals,  a  pledge  that  I 
am  authorised  to  write  against  Doctor  Luther ;  I  take  you  all  to 

Then  bending  the  florin  that  it  might  be  known  again,  he  put  it 
into  his  purse,  and  shook  hands  with  Luther.  Luther  drank  his 
health,  and  Carlstadt  returned  it.  "  The  more  vigorous  your  at 
tacks,  the  more  agreeable  they  will  be,"  resumed  Luther. 

"  If  I  fail,"  replied  Carlstadt,  "  it  will  be  my  own-fault." 

They  again  shook  hands,  and  Carlstadt  returned  home. 

Thus,  says  a  biographer,  in  the  same  way  as  from  a  single  spark 
often  arises  the  conflagration  of  a  whole  forest,  from  a  small  be 
ginning  arose  a  great  division  in  the  Church.1 

Luther  proceeded  to  Oiiamund,  and  arrived  there  ill  prepared  by 
the  scene  at  Jena.  He  assembled  the  council  and  the  church,  and 
said,  "  Neither  the  Elector  nor  the  university  is  willing  to  recog 
nise  Carlstadt  as  your  pastor."  "  If  Carlstadt  is  not  our  pastor," 
replied  the  treasurer  of  the  Town  Council,  "  St.  Paul  is  a  false 
teacher,  and  your  books  are  lies,  for  we  have  chosen  him." 

As  he  said  these  words,  Carlstadt  entered.  Some  of  the  persons 
near  Luther  motioned  to  him  to  be  seated,  but  Carlstadt,  going 
straight  up  to  Luther,  said  to  him,  "  Dear  doctor,  allow  me  to 
give  you  welcome  ? 

Luther. — "  You  are  my  enemy.  You  have  my  gold  florin  as  a 

Carlstadt. — "  I  mean  to  continue  your  enemy,  so  long  as  you 
continue  the  enemy  of  God  and  of  his  truth." 

Luther. — u  Begone  ;  I  cannot  allow  you  to  appear  here." 

Carlstadt. — "  This  is  a  public  meeting.  If  your  cause  is  just, 
why  fear  me  ?  " 

Luther  (to  his  servant.) — "Make  ready,  make  ready;  I  have 
nothing  to  do  with  Carlstadt,  and  since  he  will  not  leave,  I  start."  2 

At  the  same  time  Luther  rose  up.     Then  Carlstadt  withdrew. 

After  a  momentary  pause,  Luther  resumed,  "Prove  by  Scrip 
ture  that  it  is  right  to  destroy  images." 

A  Counsellor. — "  Doctor,  you  will  grant  that  Moses  knew  the 
commandment  of  God,"  (opening  a  Bible.)  "  Very  well;  here  are 
his  words,  '  Thou  shalt  not  make  unto  thee  any  graven  image,  or  any 
lUtcness:  " 

Luther. — "  This  passage  refers  only  to  the  images  of  idols.  If  I 
hang  up  a  crucifix  in  my  chamber  without  worshipping  it,  what 
harm  can  it  do  me  ?  " 

1Sicutuna  scintilla  smpe  totam  svlvam  comburit.  (M.  Adam,  Vit.  Carlst.  p. 
Our  narrative  is  taken  in  gr»at  part  from  the  Acts  of  Reinhavd,  pastor  of  Jena, 
eye-witness,  but  friend  of  Carlstadt.  Luther  charges  him  with  inaccuracy. 

>.  83.) 

2Spann  an,  spann  an.     (]..  Oj>.  xix,p  154.) 


A  Shoemaker. — "  I  have  often  taken  off  my  hat  to  an  image 
which  happened  to  be  in  my  room  or  on  the  road;  this  is  an  act  of 
idolatry  which  robs  God  of  the  glory  due  to  him  alone." 

Luther. — "  It  will  be  necessary  then,  because  of  abuse,  to  des 
troy  females,  and  throw  our  wine  into  the  street." l 

Another  Member  of  the  CJmrch. — "  No  :  they  are  creatures  of 
God,  which  we  are  not  enjoined  to  destroy." 

After  the  conference  had  lasted  some  time  longer,  Luther  and  his 
people  got  up  into  their  carnage,  astonished  at  what  had  passed, 
and  without  having  succeeded  in  convincing  the  inhabitants,  who 
also  claimed  for  themselves  the  right  of  freely  interpreting  and  ex 
pounding  the  Scriptures.  There  was  great  agitation  in  Orlamund ; 
the  people  insulted  Luther,  some  even  cried  to  him,  "Begone,  in 
the  devil's  name.  May  you  break  your  neck  before  you  get  out  of 
our  town."  2  Never  yet  had  the  Reformer  been  subjected  to  such 
humbling  treatment. 

He  repaired  to  Kale,  the  pastor  of  which  had  also  embraced  the 
doctrines  of  Carlstadt.  Here  he  resolved  to  preach.  On  entering 
the  pulpit  he  found  the  remains  of  a  crucifix  in  it.  At  first  he 
was  deeply  moved;  but  immediately  recovering  himself,  he  gathered 
the  fragments  into  a  corner  of  the  pulpit,  and  delivered  a  sermon 
which  contained  no  allusion  to  the  circumstance.  "  I  wished,  by 
contempt,"  said  he  afterwards,  "  to  have  my  revenge  of  the  devil." 

The  nearer  the  Elector  approached  his  end,  the  more  he  seemed 
to  fear  that  the  Reformation  was  going  too  far.  He  gave  orders 
that  Carlstadt  should  be  deprived  of  his  situations,  and  that  he 
should  quit  not  only  Orlamund,  but  the  electoral  States.  In  vain 
did  the  church  of  this  town  interpose  in  his  behalf;  in  vain  did  they 
ask  that  he  should  be  allowed  to  reside  among  them  as  a  citizen, 
and  give  an  occasional  sermon ;  in  vain  did  they  represent  that 
they  valued  the  truth  of  God  more  than  the  whole  world,  and  even 
than  a  thousand  worlds,  had  God  created  a  thousand.3  Frederick 
was  inflexible ;  he  even  went  the  length  of  refusing  the  money 
necessary  for  his  journey.  Luther  was  no  party  to  this  harshness 
of  the  prince  ;  it  was  foreign  to  his  nature,  and  this  he  showed  at 
an  after  period.  But  Carlstadt  regarded  him  as  the  author  of  his 
misfortune,  and  filled  Germany  with  his  complaints  and  lamenta 
tions.  He  wrote  a  farewell  letter  to  his  friends  of  Orlamund. 
This  letter,  for  the  reading  of  which  the  belJs  were  rung,  and  which 
was  heard  by  the  assembled  Church  amidst  tears,4  was  signed, 

1  So  muss  du  des  Missbrauchs  halber  auch.  (L.  Op.  xix.  p.  155.)  2  Two 

of  the  most  distinguished  historians  at  present  possessed  by  Germany,  add,  that  the 
people  of  Orlamund  threw  stones  and  dirt  at  Luther  ;  but  Luther  says  the  very  con 
trary: — "  Dass  ich  nit  mit  Steinen  und  Dreck  ausgeworffen  ward."  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  579.) 

3  Hbher  als  tausend  Welten.  (Seek.,  p.  628.)  *  Quoe  Publice  vocatis  per  cam- 

panas  lectae  sunt  omnibus  simul  flentibus.  fL.  Es>.  ii,  p.  558.) 


"  Andrew  Bodenstein,  banished  by  Luther  without  having  been 
either  heard  or  convicted  by  him." 

It  is  painful  to  see  this  bitter  quarrel  between  two  who  had 
formerly  been  friends,  and  were  both  excellent  men.  A  feeling  of 
sadness  was  experienced  by  all  the  disciples  of  the  Reformation. 
What  was  to  become  of  it,  now  that  its  most  illustrious  defenders 
had  come  to  blows?  Luther  saw  these  fears,  and  tried  to  calm 
them.  "  Let  us  fight,"  said  he,  "  as  fighting  for  another.  The 
cause  is  God's,  the  management  God's,  the  glory  God's.1  He  will 
fight  and  conquer  without  us.  Let  that  which  must  fall,  fall.  Let 
that  which  is  to  stand,  stand.  It  is  not  our  own  cause  that  is  in 
question,  nor  is  it  our  own  glory  that  we  seek." 

Carlstadt  retired  to  Strasburg,  where  he  published  several  pro 
ductions.  "He  was  thoroughly  acquainted,"  says  Dr.  Scheur, 
"  with  Latin,  Greek,  and  Hebrew ;"  Luther  acknowledged  the 
superiority  of  his  erudition.  Of  an  elevated  spirit,  he  sacrificed  his 
reputation,  his  rank,  his  country,  his  bread  even,  to  his  convictions. 
At  a  later  period  he  retired  to  Switzerland.  It  was  there  he  ought 
to  have  broached  his  doctrines  ;  his  independence  required  the  free 
atmosphere  in  which  an  (Ecolampadius  and  a  Zuinglius  breathed. 
His  doctrine  soon  attracted  almost  as  much  attention  as  Luther's 
Theses  had  obtained.  Switzerland  seemed  to  be  gained,  and  with 
it  Bucjer  and  Capito. 

Luther's  indignation  being  now  at  its  height,  he  published  one 
of  the  most  powerful,  but  also  one  of  the  most  violent,  of  his  con 
troversial  writings,  viz.:  his  book  '•'•Against  the  Heavenly  Prophets" 

Thus  the  Reformation,  attacked  by  the  pope,  attacked  by  the 
emperor,  attacked  by  the  princes,  began  also  to  tear  itself  to  pieces. 
It  appeared  on  the  point  of  sinking  under  so  many  disasters,  and 
certainly  must  have  sunk  if  it  had  only  been  a  work  of  man. 
But,  when  on  the  point  of  sinking,  it  arose  with  new  energy. 


Progress— Resistance  to  the  Leaguers— Meeting  between  Philip  of  Hesse  and  Me- 
lancthon — The  Landgrave  gained  over  to  the  Gospel — The  Palatinate,  Lune- 
burg,  Holstein— The  Grand  Master  at  Wittemberg. 

The  Catholic  League  of  Ratisbon  and  the  persecutions  which 
followed  it,  produced  a  powerful  re- action  in  the  population  of  Ger- 

1  Causa  Dei  est,  cura  Dei  est,  opus  Dei  est,  victoria  Dei  est,  gloria  Dei  est.    (L.  Ep.  ii, 


many.  The  Germans  were  not  disposed  to  allow  themselves  to  be 
deprived  of  that  word  of  God  which  had  at  length  been  restored  to 
them.  To  the  orders  of  Charles  V,  to  the  bulls  of  the  pope,  to  the 
menaces  and  scaffolds  of  Ferdinand,  and  the  other  Catholic  princes, 
their  reply  was,  "  We  shall  keep  it." 

Scarcely  had  the  leaguers  left  Ratisbon,  when  the  deputies  of  the 
towns,  whose  bishops  had  taken  part  in  this  alliance,  feeling  surprised 
and  indignant,  met  at  Spires,  and  resolved  that  their  preachers 
should,  in  spite  of  the  bishops,  preach  the  gospel — and  the  gospel 
alone — conformably  to  the  doctrine  of  the  prophets  and  apostles. 
They  next  proposed  to  present  a  firm  and  unanimous  remonstrance, 
to  the  National  Assembly. 

It  is  true,  the  imperial  letter,  dated  from  Burgos,  arrived,  and 
disturbed  their  thoughts.  Nevertheless,  towards  the  end  of  the 
year,  the  deputies  bf  these  towns,  and  several  of  the  nobles,  met  at 
Ulin,  and  took  an  oath  of  mutual  defence,  in  the  event  of  attack. 
Thus,  to  the  camp  formed  by  Austria,  Bavaria,  and  the  bishops, 
the  free  towns  immediately  opposed  another,  which  raised  the 
standard  of  the  gospel  and  national  freedom. 

While  the  free  towns  thus  took  the  advanced  posts  of  the  Re 
formation,  several  princes  were  gained  to  the  cause.  Early  in 
June,  1524,  Melancthon  was  returning  on  horseback  from  a  visit  to 
his  mother,  accompanied  by  Camerarius  and  some  other  friends, 
when,  near  Frankfort,  he  fell  in  with  a  brilliant  train.  It  was 
Philip  of  Hesse,  who,  three  years  before,  had  visited  Luther  at 
Worms,  and  who  was  now  on  his  way  to  the  games  of  Heidelberg, 
which  were  to  be  attended  by  all  the  princes  of  Germany. 

Thus  Providence  brought  Philip  successively  into  contact  with 
the  two  Reformers.  It  was  known  that  the  distinguished  doctor 
had  gone  on  a  visit  to  his  native  district,  and  one  of  the  landgrave's 
knights  said  to  him,  "I believe  it  is  Melancthon."  The  young  prince 
immediately  put  spurs  to  his  horse,  and  coming  up  to  the  doctor, 
said  to  him,  "Are  you  Philip  ?  "  UI  am,"  replied  the  scholar,  some 
what  intimidated,  and  preparing  respectfully  to  dismount.1  *4  Stay," 
said  the  prince,  "  turn  round  and  come  and  spend  the  night  with  me, 
there  are  some  subjects  on  which  I  wish  to  have  a  conversation 
with  you ;  fear  nothing."  "  What  could  I  fear  from  such  a 
prince  as  you?  "  replied  the  doctor.  ^  Ah  !  Ah !"  said  the  land 
grave  laughing,  "  were  I  to  take  you  away  and  give  you  up  to 
Campeggio,  he  would  not  be  sorry,  I  believe."  The  two  Philips 
rode  along  side  of  each  other.  The  prince  put  questions,  and 
Melancthon  answered.  The  landgrave  was  delighted  with  the 
clear  and  striking  views  presented  to  him.  Melancthon  at  last 

1  Honoris  causa  de  equo  desceusurus.    (Gamer.,  p.  !>  i.) 


begging  he  might  be  allowed  to  continue  his  journey,  Philip  of 
Hesse  had  difficulty  in  parting  with  him.  "  On  one  condition," 
said  he,  "  and  it  is,  that,  on  your  return,  you  will  write  carefully 
on  the  subjects  which  we  have  been  discussing,  and  send  me  the 
production."  J  Melancthon  promised.  u  Go,  then,"  said  Philip, 
"  and  pass  freely  through  rny  states." 

Melaiicthon  drew  up,  with  his  usual  talent,  "  An  Abridgement 
of  the  Revived  Doctrine  of  Christianity  "2  This  concise  and  power 
ful  production  made  a  decisive  impression  on  the  landgrave,  who, 
shortly  after  his  return  from  the  Heidelberg  games,  without  ac 
tually  joining  the  free  towns,  issued  an  ordinance,  in  which,  oppos 
ing  the  league  of  Ratisbon,  he  commanded  that  the  gospel  should 
be  preached  in  all  its  purity.  He  himself  embraced  it  with  the 
energy  of  his  character.  "  Sooner,"  exclaimed  he,  u  abandon  my 
body,  aiid  my  life,  my  states,  and  my  subjects,  than  the  Word  of 
God."  A  monk,  the  friar  minor  Ferber,  perceiving  the  prince's 
leaning  to  the  Reformation,  wrote  him  a  letter,  reproaching 
him  with  his  conduct,  arid  conjuring  him  to  remain  faithful  to 
Rome.  "  I  resolve,"  replied  Philip,  "  to  remain  faithful  to  the 
ancient  doctrine,  but  such  as  is  contained  in  Scripture."  Then 
he  proved,  with  great  force,  that  man  is  justified  only  by  faith. 
The  monk,  astonished,  held  his  peace.3  The  landgrave  was  called 
41  Melancthon's  Scholar."  * 

Other  princes  took  a  similar  direction.  The  Elector  Palatine, 
refused  to  lend  himself  to  any  persecution.  The  Duke  of  Lune- 
burg,  nephew  to  the  Elector  of  Saxony,  began  to  reform  his  states, 
and  the  King  of  Denmark  ordered,  that  in  Schleswig  and  Holstein, 
every  man  should  be  free  to  worship  God  according  to  his  con 

The  Reformation  made  a  still  more  important  conquest.  A 
prince,  the  important  effects  of  whose  conversion  began  at  this 
time  to  turn  away  from  Rome.  One  day,  towards  the  end  of  June, 
shortly  after  Melancthon's  return  to  Wittemberg,  Luther's  cham 
ber  was  entered  by  the  grand  master  of  the  Teutonic  Order,  Albert, 
Margrave  of  Brandenburg.  The  chief  of  the  chevalier  monks  o^ 
Germany,  who  was  then  in  possession  of  Prussia,  had  gone  to  the 
Diet  of  Nuremberg  to  invoke  the  aid  of  the  empire  against  Poland. 
He  returned  with  a  contrite  heart.  On  the  one  hand,  the  sermons 
of  Osiander  and  the  reading  of  the  gospel  had  convinced  him  that 
his  condition  of  monk  was  contrary  to  the*  Word  of  God  ;  on  the 
other,  the  breaking  up  of  the  national  government  had  taken  away 

1  lit  de  quae.stionibus  quas  audisset  moveri  illiquid  diligenter  conscriptum  cunuvt 
(Carner.  p.  94.)          a  Epitome  renovaUe  ecclesiasticse  dootriiue.  3  Seckend.  p.  733. 

4  1'rinceps  Hie  disci  pulus  Philippi  t'uit  a  quibusdam  appellatus.    (Gamer,  p.  95.J 


all  hope  of  the  assistance  which  he  had  gone  to  claim.  What  then 
will  he  do  ?  ....  The  Saxon  Counsellor  Planitz,  with  whom 
he  quitted  Nuremberg,  asked  him  to  visit  the  Reformer.  "  What 
think  you  of  the  rule  of  my  order?  "  asked  the  disturbed  and  agitated 
prince  at  Luther.  Luther  hesitated  not :  he  saw  that  a  conduct 
conformable  to  the  gospel  could  alone  save  Prussia  also.  "  Im 
plore,"  said  he  to  the  grand  master,  "  implore  the  help  of  God;  re 
ject  the  absurd  and  incongruous  rule  of  your  order ;  put  an  end 
to  this  abominable  and  truly  hermaphrodite  supremacy,  which  is 
neither  religious  nor  secular.1  Shun  false  and  seek  true  chastity 
— marry,  and  in  place  of  this  nameless  monster  found  a  lawful 
empire."  2  These  words  pointed  out  distinctly  to  the  soul  of  the 
grand  master  a  situation  of  which  he  had  till  then  only  had  an 
imperfect  glimpse.<  A  smile  lighted  up  his  features,  but  he  had 
too  much  prudence  to  declare  himself ;  he  held  his  peace.3  Mel- 
ancthon,  who  was  present,  spoke  in  similar  terms  as  Luther,  and 
the  prince  departed  for  his  states,  leaving  the  Reformers  in  the 
belief  that  the  seed  which  they  had  sown  in  his  heart  would  one 
day  bear  fruit. 

Thus  Charles  V  and  the  pope  had  opposed  the  national  assem 
bly  of  Spires,  from  a  fear  that  the  Word  of  God  might  gain  all 
who  attended  it ;  but  the  Word  of  God  could  not  be  bound.  It 
was  prohibited  to  be  preached  in  one  of  the  halls  of  a  town  in 
the  Low  Palatinate.  Well !  it  had  its  revenge  by  diffusing  itself 
throughout  all  the  provinces.  It  aroused  the  people,  enlightened 
princes,  and,  throughout  the  empire,  displayed  that  divine  power 
of  which  neither  bulls  nor  ordinances  could  ever  deprive  it. 


Reformers— The  Church  of  All  Saints— FaU  of  the  Mass— Literature— Christian 
Schools — Seience  offered  to  the  Laity — Arts — Moral  Religion,  Esthetical  Reli 
gion—  Mime— Poetry— Painting. 

While  the  people  and  their  rulers  were  thus  pressing  toward 
the  light  the  Reformers  were  striving  to  produce  a  general  revi 
val,  to  penetrate  the  whole  mass  with  the  principles  of  Christianity. 
The  form  of  worship  first  engaged  their  attention.  The  time  fixed 
by  the  Reformer  on  his  return  from  the  Wartburg  had  arrived. 

1  Utlocoillius  abominabilis  principatus,  qui  hermaphrodita  quidam.  (L.  Ep.  ii,  p 
927.)  2  Ut  contempta  ista  stulta  confusaque  regula,  uxorern  ducertst.  (Ibid.) 

*  lila  tarn  wrist,  sed  uihil  nwpoudit.    (Ibid.) 


"  Now,"  said  he,  "  that  men's  hearts  have  been  strengthened  by 
divine  grace,  the  scandals  which  polluted  the  Lord's  kindgom 
must  be  made  to  disappear,  and  something  must  be  attempted  in 
the  name  of  Jesus."  He  demanded  that  the  communion  should 
be  dispensed  in  both  kinds,  that  every  thing  should  be  retrenched 
from  the  Supper  which  tended  to  convert  it  into  a  sacrifice,1  that 
Christian  assemblies  should  never  meet  without  hearing  the  Word 
preached,2  that  the  faithful,  or  at  least  priests  and  students,  should 
meet  every  morning  at  four  or  five  o'clock  to  read  the  Old,  and 
eveiy  evening,  at  five  or  six,  to  read  the  New  Testament, — that 
on  Sunday,  the  whole  Church  should  assemble,  morning  and  after 
noon,  and  that  the  leading  object  in  worship  should  be  the  preach 
ing  of  the  Word.3 

In  particular,  the  church  of  All  Saints,  at  Wittemberg,  aroused 
his  indignation.  There  9,901  masses  were  annually  celebrated,  and 
35,570  pounds  of  wax  burnt.  So  says  Seckendorf.  Luther  called 
it  a  "sacrilegious  Tophet."  u  There  are,"  said  he,  "  only  three  or  four 
lazy  bellies  who  still  worship  this  shameful  Mammon,  and  did  I  not 
restrain  the  people,  this  house  of  all  Saints,  or  rather  all  devils, 
would  long  ago  have  made  a  noise  in  the  world,  the  like  of  which 
was  never  heard." 

The  struggle  commenced  around  this  church.  It  was  like  one  of 
those  ancient  sanctuaries  of  Paganism  in  Egypt,  Gaul,  and  Ger 
many,  which  behoved  to  fall,  in  order  that  Christianity  might  be 

Luther,  desiring  that  the  mass  should  be  abolished  in  this 
cathedral,  on  the  1st  March,  1523,  addressed  a  first  petition  on 
the  subject  to  the  chapter;  and,  on  the  llth  July,  addressed  a 
second.4  The  canons,  in  reply,  urged  the  orders  of  the  Elector, 
"  What  have  we  to  do  here,"  replied  Luther,  "  with  orders  from 
the  prince?  He  is  a  secular  prince.  His  business  is  with  the 
sword,  and  not  with  the  ministry  of  the  gospel."  Luther  here 
clearly  draws  the  distinction  between  the  Church  and  the  State. 
u  There  is  only  one  sacrifice,"  says  he  again,  "  which  wipes  away 
sins,  Christ,  who  once  offered  himself,  and  we  have  faith  in  him, 
not  by  works  or  by  sacrifices,  but  solely  by  faith  in  the  Word  of 

The  Elector,  who  felt  his  end  drawing  near,  was  repugnant  to  new 
reforms.  But  new  urgency  was  joined  to  that  of  Luther.  Jonas, 
provost  of  the  cathedral,  thus  addressed  the  Elector : — "  It  is 
time  to  act.  A  manifestation  of  the  gospel,  so  bright  as  that  we 

i  Weise  christliche  Messe  zu  halten.  (L.  Op.  L.  xxii,  p.  232.  2  Die  christliche 

Gemeine  nimmer  zoll  zusammen  kommen,  es  werde  denn  daselbst  (*ottes  Wort  ge- 
prediget.  (Ihid.  p.  226.)  3  DassWort  im  Schwange  gelie.  (Ibid.  p.  227.) 

*  L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  308,  and  354. 


now  have,  usually  lasts  no  longer  than  a  ray  of  the  sun.    Let  n?, 
therefore,  make  haste." l 

This  letter  of  Jonas  not  having  changed  the  Elector's  views, 
Luther  lost  patience.  He  thought  the  moment  to  give  the  fatal 
blow  had  arrived,  and  addressed  a  threatening  letter  to  the  chapter. 
u  I  beg  you  amicably,  and  solicit  you  seriously,  to  put  an  end  to 
all  this  sectarian  worship.  If  yon  refuse,  you  shall,  by  God's  help, 
receive  the  recompense  which  you  deserve.  I  say  this  for  your 
guidance;  arid  I  demand  a  distinct  and  immediate  answer — yes, 
or  no — before  next  Sunday,  that  I  may  know  how  to  act.  God 
grant  you  grace  to  follow  his  light. 


"  Thursday,  8th  Dec.,  1524."  "  Preacher  at  Wittemberg."  2 

At  the  same  time  the  rector,  two  burgomasters,  and  ten  coun 
sellors,  repaired  to  the  dean,  and  solicited  him,  in  the  name  of  the 
university,  the  council,  and  the  community  of  Wittemberg,  "to 
abolish  the  great  and  horrible  impiety  committed  against  the 
divine  majesty  in  the  mass." 

The  chapter  was  obliged  to  surrender.  It  declared  that,  en 
lightened  by  the  Holy  Word  of  God,3  it  acknowledged  the  abuses 
to  which  its  attention  had  been  directed,  and  published  a  new 
order  of  service,  which  began  to  be  observed  on  Christmas,  1524. 

Thus  fell  the  mass  in  this  famous  sanctuary,  where  it  had  so 
long  withstood  the  reiterated  assaults  of  the  Reformers.  The 
Elector  Frederick,  suffering  under  an  attack  of  the  gout,  and  drawing 
near  his  end,  was  not  able,  notwithstanding  all  his  efforts,  to  prevent 
this  great  act  of  reformation.  He  saw  the  divine  will  in  it,  and 
yielded.  The  fall  of  the  Roman  observances  in  the  church  of  All 
Saints,  hastened  their  end  in  many  of  the  churches  of  Christen 
dom.  There  was  every  where  the  same  resistance,  but  there  was 
also  the  same  victory.  In  vain  did  priests,  and  in  many  places 
even  princes,  attempt  to  throw  obstacles  in  the  way  ;  they  failed. 

But  it  was  not  worship  merely  that  the  Reformation  had  to 
change.  She,  at  an  early  period,  placed  the  school  by  the  side  of 
the  Church ;  and  these  two  great  institutions,  mighty  in  regene 
rating  nations,  were  equally  revived  by  her.  The  Reformation, 
when  she  first  appeared  in  the  world,  was  intimately  allied  with  liter-; 
ature ;  and  this  alliance  she  forgot  not  in  the  day  of  her  triumph. 

Christianity  is  not  a  mere  development  of  Judaism.  It  doeft 
not  try,  as  the  papacy  would  fain  do,  to  confine  men  again  in! 
the  swaddling  bands  of  external  ordinances  and  human  doctrines. 
Christianity  is  a  new  creation;  it  seizes  man  within,  and  trans- 

i  Corp.  Reformat,  i,  p.  636.  2  L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  565.  »  Durch  das  Licht  deJ 

heiliger  Gbttlichlen  Wortes       .    .    .    (L.  Op.  xviii.p.  502.) 


forms  him  in  his  inmost  heart;  so  that  he  no  longer  has  any  need 
of  rules  from  other  men.  Through  the  help  of  God,  he  can  of  him 
self  and  by  himself,  discern  what  is  true,  and  do  what  is  good.1 

To  conduct  human  nature  to  this  state  of  independence  which 
Christ  has  purchased  for  it,  and  deliver  it  from  the  nonage  in 
which  Rome  had  so  long  kept  it,  the  Reformation  behoved  to 
develope  the  whole  man,  renewing  his  heart  and  his  will  by  the 
Word  of  God,  and  enlightening  his  understanding  by  the  study  of 
sacred  and  profane  literature. 

Luther  understood  this.  He  felt  that,  in  order  to  secure  the 
Reformation,  it  was  necessary  to  work  upon  youth,  to  improve 
schools,  and  propagate  in  Christendom  the  knowledge  necessary  to 
a  profound  study  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.  Accordingly,  this  was 
one  of  the  objects  of  his  life.  He  felt  this,  particularly  at  the 
period  which  we  have  now  reached,  and  applied  to  the  counsellors 
of  all  the  towns  of  Germany  for  the  foundation  of  Christian  schools. 
41  Dear  Sirs,"  said  he  to  them,  "  so  much  money  is  annually  ex 
pended  on  muskets,  roads,  and  embankments,  why  should  not  a  little 
be  spent  in  giving  poor  youth  one  or  two  schoolmasters?  God  is 
knocking  at  our  door ;  happy  are  we  if  we  open  to  him.  The 
divine  Word  now  abounds.  O  !  dear  Germans,  buy,  buy,  while 
the  market  is  before  your  houses.  The  Word  of  God  and  its 
grace  are  like  a  wave  which  ebbs  and  goo5*  away.  It  was  with  the 
Jews,  but  it  has  passed;  and  they  no  longer  have  it.  Paul  brought 
it  to  Greece,  but  it  passed  away  ;  and  Greece  now  belongs  to  the 
Turk.  It  came  to  Rome  and  Latium,  but  thence  too  it  has  pass 
ed  ;  nnd  Rome  now  has  the  pope.2  Do  not  suppose  you  are  to 
have  this  word  for  ever.  The  contempt  shown  for  it  will  chase  it 
away.  Wrherefore,  let  him  who  would  have  it  seize  it,  and  keep  it. 

"Give  attention  to  children,"  continues  ho,  still  addressing 
magistrates,  "  for  many  parents  are  like  ostriches ;  they  grow  cal 
lous  towards  their  young,  and  contented  with  having  laid  the 
egg,  give  themselves  no  farther  trouble.  The  prosperity  of  a  town 
consists,  not  merely  in  collecting  great  treasures,  building  strong 
walls,  and  erecting  fine  houses,  and  possessing  brilliant  armies. 
If  fools  come  and  pounce  upon  it,  its  misfortunes  will  then  %only 
be  the  greater.  The  true  good  of  a  town,  its  safety  and  strength, 
is  to  have  a  great  number  of  learned,  serious,  honest,  and  well- 
educated  citizens.  And  whose  fault  is  it,  that  at  present  the  num 
ber  of  these  is  so  small,  if  it  is  not  yours,  O,  magistrates!  who 
have  allowed  youth  to  grow  up  like  grass  in  the  forest?  " 

Luther  particularly  insists  on   the  study  of  literature  and 
languages.     "  What  use  is  there,  it  is  asked,  in  learning  Greek 

1  Hebrews,  viii,  5, 11.  *  Aber  bin  ist  bin  ;  sie  haben  nun  den  Papst.    (L» 

Op.  W.x,  p.535.)  _ 




and  Hebrew  ?  We  can  read  the  Bible  in  German."  "  Without 
languages,"  replies  he,  "  we  should  not  have  received  the  gos 
pel  ....  Languages  are  the  sheath  which  contains  the  sword  of 
the  Spirit ; 1  they  are  the  casket  which  contains  the  jewels,  the 
vessel  which  contains  the  liquor ;  and  as  the  gospel  expresses  it, 
they  are  the  baskets  in  which  are  preserved  the  bread  and  fishes 
to  feed  the  people.  If  we  abandon  languages,  the  result  will  be, 
that  we  shall  not  only  lose  the  gospel,  but  also  become  unable  to 
speak  and  write  in  Latin  or  in  German.  So  soon  as  the  culti 
vation  of  them  ceases,  the  gospel  is  in  decay,  and  ready  to  fall 
under  the  power  of  the  pope.  But  now  that  languages  are  again 
in  honour,  they  diffuse  so  much  light,  that  the  whole  world  is  as 
tonished;  and  every  one  must  confess  that  our  gospel  is  almost  as 
pure  as  that  of  the  Apostles  themselves.  The  holy  fathers,  in 
ancient  times,  were  often  mistaken,  because  they  did  not  know 
languages;  in  our  days,  some,  as  the  Vaudois  of  Piedmont,  do  not 
think  languages  useful;  but  though  their  doctrine  is  good,  they 
often  want  the  true  meaning  of  the  sacred  text,  they  find  them 
selves  unarmed  against  error,  and  I  much  fear  their  faith  will  not 
remain  pure.2  Had  not  languages  made  me  sure  of  the  meaning 
of  the  Word,  I  might  have  been  a  pious  monk,  and  have  peaceably 
preached  the  truth  in  the  obscurity  of  a  cloister ;  but  I  should 
have  allowed  the  pope,  sophists,  and  their  antichristian  empire  to 
stand."  3 

Luther  does  not  confine  himself  to  the  education  of  ecclesiastics ; 
he  is  desirous  that  knowledge  should  no  longer  be  monopolised  by 
the  Church ;  he  proposes  to  give  a  share  of  it  to  the  laity,  who, 
till  now,  had  been  disinherited.  He  proposes  that  libraries  should 
be  established,  and  that  they  should  not  be  confined  to  a  collection 
of  the  editions  of  the  schoolmen  and  fathers  of  the  Church,  but 
should  also  contain  the  works  of  orators  and  poets,  even  though 
they  should  be  pagans,  as  well  as  works  on  the  fine  arts,  law. 
medicine,  and  history.  "  These  writings  serve,"  says  he,  "  to  ex 
plain  the  works  and  miracles  of  God." 

This  work  of  Luther  is  one  of  the  most  important  which  the 
Reformation  has  produced.  It  takes  science  out  of  the  hands  of 
the  priests,  who  had  monopolised  it,  like  those  of  Egypt  in  ancient 
times,  and  restores  it  to  all.  From  the  impulse  thus  given  by  the 
Reformation,  have  proceeded  the  greatest  developments  of  modern 
times.  Those  laymen,  literary  and  learned,  who  now  assail  the 
Reformation,  forget  that  they  themselves  are  its  work,  and  that 
without  it  they  should  still  be  placed,  like  ignorant  children,  under 

1  Die  Spraciien  sind  die  Scheide,  darinnen  dies  Messer  des  Geistes  stecket.    (L,0p* 
W.  x,  p.  535.)  2  ES  sey  oder  werde  nicht  lauter  bleiben.    (Ibid.)  9.Icli. 

hatte  wohl  auch  kbnuen  fromm  seyn  und  in  der  Stille  recht    predigen.    (Ibid.) 


the  rod  of  the  clergy.  The  Reformation  discerned  the  intimate 
union  subsisting  between  all  the  sciences ;  she  was  aware  that,  as 
all  science  comes  from  God,  so  it  leads  back  to  God.  Her  wish 
was  that  all  should  learn,  and  that  they  should  learn  all.  u  Those 
who  despise  profane  literature,"  said  Melancthon,  u  have  no  higher 
respect  for  sacred  theology.  Their  contempt  is  only  a  pretext  by 
which  they  try  to  hide  their  sloth." l 

The  Reformation  was  not  contented  with  giving  a  strong  impulse 
to  literature,  she  also  gave  a  new  impulse  to  the  arts.  Protestant 
ism  is  often  charged  with  being  inimical  to  the  arts,  and  many 
Protestants  readily  admit  the  charge.  We  will  not  enquire 
whether  or  not  the  Reformation  ought  to  prevail ;  we  will  con 
tent  ourselves  with  observing,  that  impartial  history  does  not 
confirm  the  fact  on  which  this  accusation  rests.  Let  Roman 
Catholicism  plume  itself  on  being  more  favourable  to  the  arts  than 
Protestantism — all  very  well.  Paganism  was  still  more  favour 
able  to  them ;  and  Protestantism  places  her  fame  on  a  different 
ground.  There  are  religions  in  which  the  esthetical  tenden 
cies  of  man  occupy  a  more  important  place  than  his  moral  nature. 
Christian  sentiment  is  expressed,  not  by  the  productions  of  the 
fine  arts,  but  by  the  actings  of  Christian  life.  Every  sect  that  aban 
dons  the  moral  tendency  of  Christianity,  thereby  loses  even  its 
right  to  the  Christian  name.  Rome  has  not  abandoned  this  essen 
tial  characteristic,  but  Protestantism  preserves  it  in  much  greater 
purity.  Its  glory  consists  in  the  thorough  investigation  of  what 
ever  belongs  to  the  moral  being,  and  in  judging  of  religious  acts, 
not  from  their  external  beauty  and  the  manner  in  which  they  strike 
the  imagination,  but  according  to  their  internal  worth  and  the 
relation  which  they  bear  to  the  conscience ;  so  that,  if  the  papacy 
is  above  all,  as  a  distinguished  writer  has  proved,2  an  esthetical 
religion,  Protestantism  is,  above  all,  a  moral  religion. 

Still,  although  the  Reformation  addressed  man  primarily  as  a 
moral  being,  it  addressed  the  whole  man.  We  have  just  seen  how 
it  spoke  to  his  understanding,  and  what  it  did  for  literature :  it 
spoke  also  to  his  sensibility,  his  imagination,  and  contributed  to 
the  development  of  the  arts.  The  Church  was  no  longer  composed 
merely  of  priests  and  monks ;  it  was  the  assembly  of  the  faithful. 
All  were  to  take  part  in  worship ;  and  the  hymns  of  the  clergy  were 
to  be  succeeded  by  those  of  the  people.  Accordingly,  in  translat 
ing  the  Psalms,  Luther's  object  was  to  adapt  them  to  the  singing 
of  the  church.  In  this  way  a  taste  for  music  was  diffused  over 
the  whole  country. 

1  Hunc  titulum  ipiavise  suse  praetextunt.    (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  613.)  2  Chateau 

briand,  Genie  du  Christianisme. 

148  MUSIC.     POETRY. 

"  After  theology,"  said  Luther,  "it  is  to  music  I  give  the  first 
place  and  the  highest  honour.1  A  schoolmaster,"  he  again  said, 
44  must  be  able  to  sing;  without  it  I  will  not  even  look  at  him." 

One  day,  when  some  tine  pieces  were  sung  to  him,  he  rapturously 
exclaimed,  "  If  our  Lord  God  has  conferred  such  admirable  gifts 
on  this  earth,  which  is  only  an  obscure  recess,  what  will  it  be  in 
the  eternal  life,  in  a  state  of  perfection  !  "  .  .  .  From  the  days 
of  Luther  the  people  sung ;  the  Bible  inspired  their  hymns ;  and 
the  impulse  given  at  the  period  of  the  lieformation,  at  a  later 
period,  produced  those  magnificent  oratorios  which  seem  to  be  the 
complete  perfection  of  the  art. 

The  same  impulse  was  given  to  poetry.  It  was  impossible,  in 
celebrating  the  praises  of  God,  to  be  confined  to  mere  translations 
of  the  ancient  hymns.  Luther's  own  soul,  and  that  of  several  of 
his  contemporaries,  raised  by  faith  to  the  sublimest  thoughts,  and 
excited  to  enthusiasm  by  the  battles  and  perils  which  incessantly 
threatened  the  rising  Church;  inspired,  in  short,  by  the  practical 
genius  of  the  Old  and  the  faith  of  the  New  Testament,  soon  gave 
utterance  to  their  feelings  in  religious  poems,  in  which  poetry  and 
music  united  and  blended  their  holiest  inspirations.  Thus  the  six 
teenth  century  beheld  the  revival  of  that  divine  poetry,  which,  from 
the  very  first,  had  solaced  the  sufferings  of  the  martyrs.  We  have 
already  seen  how,  in  1523,  Luther  employed  it  in  celebrating  the 
martyrs  of  Brussels  :  other  sons  of  the  Reformation  followed  in  his 
steps.  Hymns  were  multiplied,  and  spreading  rapidly  among  the 
people,  contributed  powerfully  to  awaken  them  from  their  slumbers. 
It  was  in  this  same  year  that  Hans  Sach  sung  The  Nightingale  of 
Wittemberg.  The  doctrine  which,  for  four  centuries  had  reigned  in 
the  Church,  he  regards  as  the  moonlight,  during  which  men  wan 
dered  in  the  desert.  The  nightingale  now  announces  the  sun,  and 
singing  to  the  light  of  clay,  rises  above  the  clouds  of  the  morning. 

While  lyric  poetry  thus  arose  from  the  highest  inspirations  of 
the  Reformation,  satire  and  the  drama,  under  the  pen  of  Hutten, 
Miirner,  and  Manuel  attacked  the  most  crying  abuses. 

It  is  to  the  Reformation  that  the  great  poets  of  England,  Ger 
many,  and  perhaps  France,  owe  their  lofty  ilight. 

Of  all  the  arts,  painting  is  the  one  on  which  the  Reformation  had 
the  least  influence.  Nevertheless  it  was  renewed,  and  in  a  manner 
sanctified,  by  the  universal  movement  which  then  agitated  all  the 
powers  of  the  human  mind.  The  great  master  of  this  period, 
Lucas  Cranach,  fixed  his  residence  at  Wittemberg,  where  he  lived 
on  intimate  terms  with  Luther,  arid  became  the  painter  of  the 

1  Teh  p-phe  nnch  der  Tlieologie,  der  Musica  den  nahesten  Locum  und  hbchste  Ehre 
(L.  Op.  W.  xxii,  p.  2253.) 



Reformation.  We  have  seen  bow  he  represented  the  contrasts 
between  Christ  and  antichrist  (the  pope),  and  thus  gained  a  place 
among  the  most  powerful  instruments  of  the  revolution  which  was 
transforming  the  nations.  As  soon  as  he  had  acquired  new  con 
victions,  he  consecrated  his  chaste  pencil  to  drawings  in  harmony 
with  Christian  belief,  and  shed  on  groups  of  children,  blessed  by 
the  Saviour,  the  grace  with  which  he  had  previously  adorned  legend 
ary  saints,  male  and  female.  Albert  Durer  was  also  won  by  the 
preaching  of  the  Word,  and  his  genius  took  a  new  flight.  His 
master-pieces  date  from  this  period.  From  the  features  with 
which,  from  that  period,  he  painted  the  Evangelists  and  Apostles, 
we  see  that  the  Bible  was  restored  to  the  people,  and  that  from  it 
the  painter  drew  a  depth,  a  force,  a  life,  and  grandeur,  which  he 
never  could  have  found  in  himself.1 

Still,  however,  it  must  be  acknowledged,  painting  is  the  art  whose 
religious  influence  is  most  liable  to  strong  and  well-founded  objec 
tions.  Poetry  and  music  came  from  heaven,  and  will  again  be  found 
in  heaven ;  but  painting  is  constantly  seen  united  to  grave  im 
moralities  or  fatal  errors.  After  studying  history,  or  seeing  Italy, 
we  are  made  aware  that  humanity  has  little  to  expect  from  that 
art.  But  whatever  may  be  thought  of  this  exception  which  we 
have,  thought  it  our  duty  to  make,  our  general  remark  holds  true. 

The  Reformation  of  Germany,  while  making  its  first  address  to 
the  moral  nature  of  man,  has  given  to  the  arts  an  impulse  which 
they  could  not  have  received  from  Roman  Catholicism. 

Thus,  there  was  a  universal  progress  in  literature  and  the  arts,  in 
spirituality  of  worship,  in  the  souls  of  nations  and  their  rulers.  But 
this  magnificent  harmony,  which  the  gospel  every  where  produced 
in  the  days  of  its  revival,  was  about  to  be  disturbed.  The  song  of 
the  Nightingale  of  Wittemberg  was  to  be  interrupted  by  the  hissing 
of  the  storm  and  the  roaring  of  the  lions.  A  cloud,  in  one  moment, 
spread  over  Germany,  and  a  lovely  day  was  succeeded  by  a  dismal 

CHAP.  X. 

Political  ferment — Luther  against  Revolution — Thomas  Munzer — Agitation — The 
Black  Forest — The  Twelve  Articles — Luther's  Advice — Helfenstein — Advance  of 
the  peasants — Advance  of  the  imperial  army — Defeat  of  the  peasants — Cruelty  of 
the  princes. 

A  political  fermentation,  one  very  different  from  that  which  the 
gospel  produces,  had  long  been  working  in  the  empire.    Borne  down 

1  Ranke,  Deutsche  Geschichte,  ii.  p.  85. 


by  civil  and  ecclesiastical  oppression,  bound  in  several  countries  to 
the  baronial  lands,  and  sold  along  with  them,  the  people  threatened 
to  rise  in  fury,  and  burst  their  chains.  This  agitation  had  been 
manifested  long  before  the  Keformation  by  several  symptoms,  and 
thenceforth  religion  had  been  blended  with  political  elements.  It 
was  impossible,  in  the  16th  century,  to  separate  these  two  prin 
ciples  so  intimately  associated  in  the  life  of  nations.  In  Holland, 
at  the  end  of  the  previous  century,  the  peasantry  had  risen  up, 
placing  on  their  colours,  as  a  kind  of  armorial  bearings,  bread  and 
cheese,  the  two  great  blessings  of  these  poor  people.  "  The  shoe 
alliance"  had  shown  itself  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Spires,  in  1503. 
In  1513,  it  had  been  renewed  at  Brisgau,  and  been  encouraged  by 
priests.  In  1514,  Wurtemburg  had  witnessed  "  the  league  of 
poor  Conrad,"  the  object  of  which  was  to  maintain,  by  revolt,  "  the 
rights  of  God."  In- 1515,  Carinthia  and  Hungary  had  been  the 
theatre  of  dreadful  commotions.  These  seditions  had  been  sup 
pressed  by  torrents  of  blood ;  but  no  redress  had  been  given  to  the 
people.  A  political  reform  was,  therefore,  no  less  necessary  than 
a  religious  reform.  The  people  were  entitled  to  it;  but  it  must  be 
confessed  they  were  not  ripe  for  enjoying  it. 

Since  the  Reformation  had  commenced  these  popular  agitations 
had  been  renewed ;  the  minds  of  men  had  been  absorbed  by  other 
thoughts.  Luther,  whose  piercing  eye  discerned  the  condition 
of  his  countrymen,  had,  even  from  the  height  of  the  Wartburg, 
addressed  grave  exhortations  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  down 

"  Revolt,"  he  had  said,  "  does  not  produce  the  amelioration 
which  is  desired,  and  God  condemns  it.  What  is  revolt  but  taking 
vengeance  into  our  own  hands?  The  devil  is  labouring  to  excite 
those  who  embrace  the  gospel  to  revolt  in  order  to  bring  it  into 
reproach,  but  those  who  have  perfectly  understood  my  doctrine  do 
not  revolt."  1 

Every  thing  gave  reason  to  fear  that  the  popular  indignation 
could  not  be  much  longer  restrained.  The  government  which  Fre 
derick  of  Saxony  had  had  so  much  difficulty  in  forming,  and  which 
possessed  the  confidence  of  the  nation,  was  dissolved.  The  em 
peror,  whose  energy  might,  perhaps,  have  supplied  the  want  of 
this  national  administration,  was  absent ;  the  princes,  whose  union 
had  always  constituted  the  strength  of  Germany,  were  divided ; 
and  the  new  declaration  of  Charles  V  against  Luther,  in  taking 
away  all  hope  of  future  harmony,  deprived  the  Reformer  of  a  por 
tion  of  the  moral  authority,  by  which,  in  1522,  he  had  succeeded 

1  Luther's  treue  Ermahnung  an  alle  Christen  sich  vor  Aufruhr  und  Empbrung  zu 
hiiten.    (L.  Op.  xviii,  p.  288.) 


in  calming  the  storm.  The  principal  embankments  which  had 
hitherto  confined  the  torrent  were  broken  down,  and  nothing  could 
restrain  its  fury. 

The  religious  movement  did  not  produce  the  political  agitation, 
but  in  several  places  it  allowed  itself  to  be  borne  along  by  its 
tumultuous  waves.  Perhaps  even  more  should  be  conceded ;  it  is, 
perhaps,  necessary  to  admit  that  the  movement  given  to  the  peo 
ple  by  the  Reformation  gave  new  force  to  the  discontent  which 
was  prevailing  in  the  nation.  The  violence  of  Luther's  writings, 
the  intrepidity  of  his  actions  and  his  words,  the  harsh  truths  which 
he  told,  not  only  to  the  pope  and  the  prelates,  but  also  to  princes 
themselves,  must  have  contributed  to  inflame  minds  already  in  a 
state  of  effervescence.  Accordingly  Erasmus  did  not  omit  to  tell 
him,  "  We  are  now  gathering  the  fruits  that  you  have  sown."  *• 
Moreover,  the  gladsome  truths  of  the  gospel  now  at  length  brought 
fully  to  light,  stirred  all  hearts,  and  filled  them  with  hope  and  ex 
pectation.  But  many  unregenerate  souls  remained  unprepared  by 
Christian  repentance,  faith,  and  freedom.  They  wished  indeed  to 
reject  the  yoke  of  the  pope,  but  they  wished  not  to  accept  the  yoke 
of  Christ.  Accordingly,  when  princes  devoted  to  Rome,  sought, 
in  their  wrath,  to  stifle  the  Reformation,  though  true  Christians 
knew  how  to  bear  these  cruel  persecutions  with  patience,  the  mul 
titude  fumed  and  broke  out.  Seeing  their  wishes  pent  in  in  one 
direction,  they  procured  an  outlet  for  them  in  another.  "  Why," 
said  they,  "  when  the  Church  calls  all  men  to  a  noble  freedom,  why 
Should  slavery  be  perpetuated  in  the  state?  Why,  when  the  gos 
pel  speaks  only  of  meekness,  should  government  reign  only  by 
force?  "  Unhappily  at  the  time  when  religious  reform  was  received 
with  equal  joy  by  princes  and  people,  political  reform,  on  the  con 
trary,  was  opposed  by  the  most  powerful  portion  of  the  nation ; 
while  the  former  had  the  gospel  for  its  rule  and  support,  the  latter 
had  no  other  principles  than  violence  and  despotism.  Accordingly, 
while  the  one  kept  within  the  limits  of  truth,  the  other,  like  an 
impetuous  torrent,  quickly  overlept  these,  and  also  those  of  justice. 
B  t  to  attempt  not  to  see  an  indirect  influence  of  the  Reformation 
in  the  disturbances  which  broke  out  in  the  empire,  were,  in  my 
opinion,  to  give  proof  of  partiality.  By  means  of  religious  discus 
sions  a  fire  had  been  kindled  in  Germany,  and  it  was  impossible 
that  some  sparks  should  not  fly  off  from  it,  of  a  nature  fitted  to 
inflame  the  passions  of  the  people. 

The  pretensions  of  some  fanatics  to  heavenly  inspiration,  aug 
mented  the  evil.  While  the  Reformation  had  constantly  appealed 
from  the  pretended  authority  of  the  Church  to  the  real  authority  of 

1  Hubemus  fructum  tui  spiritus.    (Erasm.  Hyperasp.  b.  4  J 

152  THOMAS  MUSZEll. 

Scripture,  these  enthusiasts  rejected  not  only  the  authority  of  the 
Church,  but  also  that  of  Scripture.  They  spoke  only  of  an  internal 
word,  of  a  revelation  of  God  within,  and  overlooking  the  natural 
corruption  of  their  heart,  they  gave  themselves  up  to  all  the  intoxi 
cation  of  spiritual  pride,  and  imagined  themselves  to  be  saints. 

"To  them,"  says  Luther,  uthe  Holy  Scripture  was  only  a  dead 
letter,  and  all  began  to  cry  Spirit!  Spirit!  But,  assuredly,  I  will 
not  follow  where  their  spirit  leads  them.  May  God,  in  his  mercy, 
preserve  me  from  a  Church  where  there  are  none  but  saints.1 
I  wish  to  remain  where  the  humble,  feeble,  and  sickly  are — who 
know  and  feel  their  sin,  and  who,  without  ceasing,  sigh  and  cry  to 
God  from  the  bottom  of  their  heart  to  obtain  his  consolation  and 
assistance."  These  words  of  Luther  are  profound,  and  mark  the 
change  which  was  taking  place  in  his  views  as  to  the  nature  of  the 
Church.  They  show,  at  the  same  time,  how  much  the  religious 
principles  of  the  revolters  were  opposed  to  the  Reformation. 

The  most  remarkable  of  these  enthusiasts  was  Thomas  Munzer. 
He  was  not  without  talents,  had  read  the  Bible,  was  zealous,  and 
might  have  been  able  to  do  good,  if  he  had  known  how  to  collect 
his  agitated  thoughts,  and  find  peace  of  heart.  But  not  knowing 
himself,  and  being  void  of  true  humility,  he  was  possessed  with  a 
desire  to  reform  the  world,  and,  like  all  enthusiasts,  forgot  that 
reform  ought  to  begin  at  himself.  Mystical  treatises  which  he  had 
read  in  his  youth  had  given  a  false  direction  to  his  mind.  He 
first  appeared  at  Zwickau,  quitted  Wittemberg  after  Luther's 
return,  discontented  with  the  inferior  part  he  was  playing  there, 
and  became  pastor  of  the  small  town  of  Alstadt  in  Thuringia. 
Here  he  could  not  long  remain  quiet.  He  accused  the  Reformers  of 
founding,  by  their  attachment  to  the  letter,  a  new  papism,  and  of 
founding  churches  which  were  not  pure  and  holy. 

14  Luther,"  said  he,  "  has  delivered  consciences  from  the  yoke  of 
the  pope ;  but  he  has  left  them  in  a  carnal  freedom,  and  has  not 
carried  them  forward  in  spirit  toward  God." 2 

He  thought  himself  called  by  God  to  remedy  this  great  evil. 
According-  to  him  the  revelations  of  the  Spirit  were  the  means  by 
which  his  reform  was  to  be  accomplished.  "  He  who  possesses  this 
Spirit,"  said  he,  "  has  true  faith,  even  though  he  should  never  in 
his  life  see  the  Holy  Scriptures.  Pagans  and  Turks  are  uioro 
proper  to  receive  it  than  many  Christians  who  call  us  enthusiasts.1' 
When  he  thus  spoke  he  had  Luther  in  his  eye.  kk  In  order  to 
receive  this  Spirit,"  added  he,  "it  is  necessary  to  mortify  the  body, 

*  I)er  barmherzige  Gott  berhiite  inich  ja  fur  der  Christlichen  Kirche,  daren  eitel 
lieUi^e  sind.  (On  John,  i,  2.  L.  Op.  (W.)  vii,  p.  1469.)  a  Fuhrete  sienicbt  weitei 

iu  Gust  uud  zu  tiott.    (L,  Op.  xix,  p.  2SH.) 


wear  shabby  clothes,  let  the  beard  grow,  have  a  gloomy  air,  keep 
silence,1  frequent  retired  spots,  and  beg  God  to  give  us  a  sign  of  his 
favour.  Then  God  will  come  and  speak  with  us  as  he  once  did 
with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob.  Did  He  not  do  so,  it  would  not 
be  worth  men's  while  to  pay  any  attention  to  him.2  I  have 
received  a  commission  from  God  to  assemble  his  elect  in  a  holy  and 
eternal  alliance." 

The  agitation  and  ferment  working  in  men's  minds,  were  only 
too  favourable  to  the  propagation  of  then-  enthusiastic  ideas.  Man 
loves  the  marvellous,  and  every  thing  that  flatters  his  pride. 
Mu'nzer,  having  drawn  a  portion  of  his  flock  into  his  views, 
abolished  church  music,  and  all  ceremonies.  He  maintained,  that, 
to  obey  princes,  "  devoid  of  reason,"  was  to  serve  God  and  Mam 
mon.  Then,  marching  at  the  head  of  his  parishioners  to  a  chapel 
near  Alstadt,  and  which  was  resorted  to  by  pilgrims  frpm  all 
quarters,  he  threw  it  down.  Obliged,  after  this  exploit,  to  flee  the 
country,  he  wandered  up  and  down  in  Germany,  and  went  as  far 
as  Switzerland,  carrying  with  him,  and  communicating  to  all  who 
would  listen  to  him,  the  plan  of  a  universal  revolution.  He  every 
where  found  men's  minds  prepared ;  he  threw  gunpowder  on  burning 
coals,  and  a  violent  explosion  was  the  immediate  result. 

Luther,  who  had  repelled  the  warlike  enterprises  of  Sickingen,3 
could  not  allow  himself  to  be  carried  away  by  the  tumultuous 
movements  of  the  peasantry.  Happily,  for  social  order,  the  gospel 
had  him  in  charge ;  for  what  might  have  happened  had  he  given 
his  vast  influence  to  their  camp  ?  .  .  .  .  He  always  firmly  main 
tained  the  distinction  between  spiritual  and  secular ;  he  ceased  not 
to  repeat,  that  what  Christ  emancipated  by  his  Word  was  immortal 
souls,  and,  while  with  one  hand  he  attacked  the  authority  of  the 
Church,  he  with  the  other  equally  maintained  the  power  of  princes. 
"A  Christian,"  said  he,  "must  endure  death  a  hundred  times 
sooner  than  give  the  least  countenance  to  the  revolt  of  the  peasants." 
In  a  letter  to  the  Elector,  he  says,  "What  particularly  delights  me 
is,  that  these  enthusiasts  make  a  boast  to  every  one  who  listens  to 
them,  that  they  are  not  of  us.  They  say  it  is  the  Spirit  that  prompts 
them.  But  I  reply, — It  is  a  bad  spirit  that  bears  no  other  fruit 
than  the  pillaging  of  convents  and  churches :  the  greatest  robbers 
on  the  face  of  the  earth  can  do  as  much." 

At  the  same  time  Luther,  who  wished  others  to  have  the  same 
liberty  that  he  desired  for  himself,  dissuaded  the  prince  from 
rigorous  measures.  "  Let  them  preach  as  they  will,  and  against 

1  Saur  sehen,  den  Bart  nicht  abschneiden.    (L.  Op.  xix,  p.  294.)  a  Munzrr'« 

expression  is  low  ;md  profane:— Er  wollt  in  Gott  Rc:>eissen  went'  er  nicht  mit  Him 
rciiut,  vie  mit  Abraham.  (His.Munzer  by  Melaucthon.— Ibid.,  u.  2i)&.)  s  First 

Volume,  Book  i. 


whomsoever  they  see  it  good  ;  for  it  is  necessary  that  the  Word  of 
God  itself  should  lead  the  van  and  give  them  battle.  If  theirs  is  the 
true  Spirit,  he  will  not  fear  our  severities :  if  ours  is  the  true,  he 
will  not  fear  their  violence.  Let  us  leave  the  spirits  to  struggle 
and  fight  with  each  other.1  Some  perhaps  will  be  seduced,  as 
there  is  no  battle  without  wounds  ;  but  he  who  fights  faithfully 
will  be  crowned.  Nevertheless,  if  they  will  take  the  sword,  your 
highness  must  forbid  it,  and  order  them  to  quit  the  country." 

The  revolt  broke  out  in  the  districts  of  the  Black  Forest,  and  the 
sources  of  the  Danube,  which  had  so  often  been  agitated  by  popular 
commotions.  On  the  19th  July,  1524,  some  Thurgovian  peasants 
rose  up  against  the  Abbot  of  Keichenau,  who  refused  to  give  them 
an  evangelical  preacher.  Thousands  were  soon  assembled  around 
the  little  town  of  Tengen,  for  the  rescue  of  an  ecclesiastic  who  was 
kept  prisoner.  The  revolt  spread  with  inconceivable  rapidity  from 
Suabia,  as  far  as  the  countries  of  the  Rhine,  Franconia,  Thuringia, 
and  Saxony.  All  these  countries  had  risen  in  January,  1525. 

Towards  the  end  of  this  month,  the  peasants  published  a  declara 
tion  in  twelve  articles,  in  which  they  demanded  liberty  to  choose 
their  own  pastors,  the  abolition  of  small  tithes  and  villanage,  the 
taxes  on  heritage,  liberty  of  hunting,  fishing,  and  cutting  wood. 
Each  demand  was  supported  by  a  quotation  from  Scripture.  "If 
we  are  mistaken,"  said  they  in  conclusion,  "  Luther  can  put  us  right 
by  Scripture." 

The  opinions  of  the  Wittemberg  theologians  were  asked.  Luther 
and  Melancthon  gave  theirs — each  separately.  They  are  very 
characteristic.  Melancthon,  who  regarded  every  kind  of  disturb 
ance  as  a  great  crime,  oversteps  his  usual  gentleness,  and  cannot 
give  strong  enough  expression  to  his  indignation.  The  peasants 
are  criminals,  against  whom  he  invokes  all  laws,  human  and  divine. 
If  friendly  conference  proves  ineffectual,  the  magistrates  must  pursue 
them  as  robbers  and  assassins.  "  However,"  he  adds,  (and  it  was 
indeed  necessary  that  some  one  trait  should  remind  us  of  Melanc 
thon)  let  there  be  pity  shown  to  orphans  in  inflicting  the  punish 
ment  of  death." 

Luther's  opinion  of  the  revolt  was  the  same  as  Melancthon's  ; 
bat  he  had  a  heart  which  beat  at  the  wretchedness  of  the  people. 
He,  on  this  occasion,  showed  a  lofty  impartiality,  and  told  the  truth 
frankly  to  both  parties.  He  first  addressed  the  princes,  and  more 
especially  the  bishops  : 

"You,"  said  he  to  them,  "  are  the  cause  of  the  revolt.  Your 
invectives  against  the  gospel,  your  culpable  oppression  of  the  little 
ones  of  the  Church,  have  brought  the  people  to  despair.  It  is  not 

i  Mau  laase  die  Geister  auf  platzen  und  treffen.    (L.  Ep.  ii.  p.  547.) 


the  peasants,  dear  lords,  who  rise  up  against  you ;  it  is  God  him 
self  who  wishes  to  oppose  your  fury.1  The  peasants  are  only  the 
instruments  whom  he  is  employing  to  humble  you.  Think  not  to 
escape  the  punishment  which  he  is  preparing  for  you.  Even  should 
you  succeed  in  destroying  all  these  peasants,  God  would  of  the  very 
stones  raise  up  new  ones  to  chastise  your  pride.  If  I  wished 
revenge,  I  would  laugh  in  my  sleeve — look  on  while,  the  peasants 
act — or  even  stimulate  their  rage ;  but  God  forbid  !  '.  ...  Dear 
lords,  for  the  love  of  God,  lay  aside  your  indignation,  treat  the 
poor  people  with  discretion  as  you  would  persons  drunk  and  bewil 
dered.  Suppress  these  commotions  by  gentleness,  lest  a  conflagra 
tion  break  forth,  and  set  all  Germany  in  a  blaze.  Among  their 
twelve  articles  are  some  which  are  just  and  equitable." 

This  exordium  was  fitted  to  gain  the  confidence  of  the  pea 
sants,  and  make  them  listen  patiently  to  the  truths  which  he 
had  to  tell  them.  He  represented  to  them  that  a  great  part  of 
then*  demands  were  doubtless  well  founded  ;  but  that  to  revolt  was 
to  act  like  pagans — that  the  duty  of  Christians  was  patience,  and 
not  war — and  that,  if  they  continued  to  rise  in  the  name  of  the 
gospel,  against  the  gospel  itself,  he  would  regard  them  as  more 
dangerous  enemies  than  the  pope.  u  The  pope  and  the  emperor," 
continued  he,  "have  united  against  me;  but  the  more  the  pope 
and  the  emperor  have  stormed,  the  greater  the  progress  which  the 
gospel  has  made  ....  Why  so  ?  Because  I  have  never  drawn 
the  sword,  nor  called  for  vengeance — because  I  have  not  had 
recourse  either  to  tumult  or  revolt.  I  have  committed  all  to  God, 
and  awaited  his  strong  hand.  It  is  neither  with  the  sword  nor  the 
musket  that  Christians  fight,  but  with  suifering  and  the  cross. 
Christ,  their  captain,  did  not  handle  the  sword  :  he  hung  upon  the 

But  in  vain  did  Luther  give  utterance  to  these  most  Christian 
expressions.  The  people  were  too  much  excited  by  the  fanatical 
discourses  of  the  leaders  of  the  revolt  to  lend  then-  ear  as  formerly 
to  the  Kefonner.  "  He  is  playing  the  hypocrite,"  they  said  :  "he 
is  flattering  the  princes.  He  has  waged  war  with  the  pope,  and  yet 
he  would  have  us  to  submit  to  our  oppressors !" 

The  revolt,  instead  of  being  calmed,  became  more  formidable. 
At  Weinsberg,  Count  Louis  of  Helfenstein,  and  seventy  men  under 
his  command,  were  condemned  to  death.  A  party  of  peasants  held 
their  pikes  before  them  in  close  phalanx ;  others  chased  and  drove 
back  the  count  and  his  soldiers  on  this  bristling  forest.2  The  wife  of 
the  unhappy  Helfenstein,  a  natural  daughter  of  the  Emperor  Maxi- 

1  Gott  iats  selbev  der  sebtz  sich  wider  euch.    (L.  Op.  xrx,  p.  254. 

2  Und  jechten  pin  Gra^on  rhiroh  die  Spiessc.     (MalttieMiis.  p.  46.) 


milian,  with  an  infant  of  two  years  old  in  her  arms,  fell  on  her  knees, 
and,  with  loud  cries,  implored  the  life  of  her  husband,  and  endea 
voured  to  stop  the  murderous  band  ;  a  young  boy,  who  had  been 
in  the  service  of  the  count,  and  had  joined  the  rebels,  capered  near 
him,  playing  the  dead  march  on  a  fife,  as  if  the  victims  had  been 
dancing  to  it.  All  perished :  the  child  was  wounded  in  its  mother's 
arms,  and  she  herself  was  thrown  on  a  dung  cart,  and  so  taken  to 

On  hearing  of  these  cruelties,  a  cry  of  horror  was  heard  among 
the  friends  of  the  Reformation,  and  a  fearful  struggle  took  place  in 
Luther's  feeling  heart.  On  the  one  hand  the  peasants,  deriding  his 
representations,  pretended  to  revelations  from  heaven,  made  an 
impious  use  of  the  threatenings  of  the  Old  Testament,  proclaimed 
the  equality  of  ranks,  and  a  community  of  goods,  defended  their 
cause  with  fire  ancl  sword,  and  had  recourse  to  barbarous  execu 
tions.  On  the  other  hand,  the  enemies  of  the  Reformation  asked 
the  Reformer  with  a  malignant  smile,  if  he  did  not  know  that 
it  was  easier  to  kindle  a  fire  than  to  extinguish  it  ?  Indignant 
at  their  excesses — alarmed  at  the  thought  that  they  might  arrest 
the  progress  of  the  gospel — Luther  no  longer  hesitated ;  all  delicacy 
was  at  an  end ;  he  broke  loose  against  the  rebels  with  all  the 
force  of  his  character,  and,  perhaps,  exceeded  the  just  limits  within 
which  he  ought  to  have  confined  himself. 

"The  peasants,"  said  he,  "commit  these  horrible  sins  towards 
God  and  towards  men,  ancl,  by  so  doing,  deserve  the  death  both  of 
the  body  and  the  soul.  First,  they  revolt  against  the  magistrates 
to  whom  they  have  sworn  fidelity.  Next,  they  rob  and  pillage 
convents  and  castles.  Last  of  all,  they  cloak  their  crimes  with  the 
mantle  of  the  gospel.  If  you  do  not  put  a  mad  dog  to  death  you 
will  perish  yourself,  and  the  whole  country  with  you.  He  who  is 
slain  in  fighting  for  magistrates  will  be  a  true  martyr,  if  he  has 
fought  with  a  good  conscience.  Luther  afterwards  gives  an  ener 
getic  picture  of  the  culpable  violence  of  the  peasantry  in  compelling 
simple  and  peaceful  men  to  enter  their  alliance,  and  so  drag  them 
into  the  same  condemnation.  He  then  adds,  "  Wherefore,  dear 
lords,  aid,  save,  deliver,  have  pity  on  these  poor  people.  Strike, 
stab,  and  kill  who  can  ....  If  you  die  you  cannot  have  a  hap 
pier  end,  for  you  die  in  the  service  of  God,  and  to  save  your  neigh 
bour  from  hell."1 

Neither  gentleness  nor  force  could  arrest  the  popular  torrent. 
It  was  no  longer  for  divine  service  that  the  church  bell  sounded ; 
whenever  its  grave  and  solemn  sounds  were  heard  rising  from  the 

1  Deinen  Nehesten  zu  retten  am  der  Holle.    (L.  O|>.  xix,  p.  266.) 


plains,  it  was  the  tocsin,  and  all  rushed  to  arms.  The  people  of  the 
Black  Forest  had  mustered  around  John  Muller  of  Bulgenbach. 
Of  an  imposing  appearance,  clothed  in  a  red  mantle,  and  with  a  red 
bonnet  on  his  head,  this  leader  paraded  proudly  from  village  to 
village,  followed  by  his  peasants.  Behind  him  on  a  car,  adorned 
with  ribbons  and  branches  of  trees,  waved  the  three-coloured  flag, 
black,  red,  and  white,  the  signal  of  revolt.  A  herald,  decked  in  the 
same  colours,  read  the  twelve  articles,  and  called  on  the  people  to 
join  the  movement.  Whoever  refused  was  excluded  from  the  com 

This  procession,  which  was  at  first  peaceable,  soon  became  more 
restless.  "The  barons,"  they  exclaimed,  "must  be  forced  to  join 
the  alliance."  And,  to  bring  them  to  this,  they  pillaged  their  gran 
aries,  emptied  their  wine  cellars,  fished  the  baronial  ponds,  laid 
the  castles  of  those  nobles  who  resisted  them  in  ruins,  and  burned 
convents.  Eesistance  inflamed  the  rage  of  these  rude  men.  Equality 
no  longer  satisfied  them :  they  would  have  blood ;  and  vowed  that 
eveiy  man  who  wore  a  spur  should  bite  the  dust. 

On  the  approach  of  the  peasants,  the  towns,  unable  to  resist, 
opened  their  gates  and  joined  the  rebels.  In  every  place  they 
entered,  pictures  were  torn,  and  crucifixes  broken  to  pieces.  Armed 
females  ran  up  and  down  the  streets  threatening  the  monks. 
When  defeated  in  one  place,  they  again  mustered  in  another,  and 
defied  the  most  formidable  armies  and  bodies  of  troops.  A 
committee  of  peasants  was  established  at  Heilbronn.  The  Counts 
of  Lowenstein  being  captured,  were  clothed  in  a  white  frock,  with  a 
white  baton  in  their  hands,  and  made  to  swear  to  the  twelve  articles. 
Brother  George,  and  you  brother  Albert,  said  a  tinker  to  the 
Counts  of  Hohenloe,  who  had  repaired  to  the  camp,  "  Swear  to  con 
duct  us  as  brethren ;  for  you  also  are  now  peasants :  you  are  no  longer 
lords."  The  equality  of  ranks,  that  dream  of  all  democrats,  was 
established  in  aristocratic  Germany. 

A  great  number  of  nobles,  some  from  fear  and  others  from  am 
bition,  now  joined  the  revolters.  The  famous  Gb'tz  of  Berlichingen, 
when  he  saw  his  people  refuse  to  obey  him,  wished  to  fly  to  the 
Elector  of  Saxony ;  but  his  wife,  who  was  in  childbed,  in  order  to 
keep  him  near  her  concealed  the  Elector's  reply.  Gb'tz,  almost 
hemmed  in,  was  obliged  to  place  himself  at  the  head  of  the  rebellious 
host.  On  the  7th  May,  the  peasants  entered  Wurtzburg,  and  were 
received  by  the  citizens  with  acclamation.  The  troops  of  the 
princes  and  knights  of  Suabia,  who  had  assembled  in  this  town, 
evacuated  it,  and  retired  in  haste  to  the  citadel,  the  last  rampart 
of  the  nobility. 

But  the  movement  had  already  extended  to  other  parts  of  Ger- 


many.  Spires,  the  Palatinate,  Alsace,  and  Hesse,  acknowledged 
the  twelve  articles,  and  the  peasants  threatened  Bavaria,  West 
phalia,  the  Tyrol,  Saxony,  and  Lorraine.  The  Margrave  of  Baden, 
having  refused  the  articles,  was  obliged  to  flee.  The  coadjutor  or 
Fuldah  acceded  to  them,  laughing.  The  small  towns  said  that  they 
had  no  lances  to  oppose  to  the  revolters.  Mentz,  Treves,  and 
Frankfort,  obtained  the  liberties  which  they  claimed. 

An  immense  revolution  is  taking  place  throughout  the  empire. 
The  ecclesiastical  and  secular  taxes  which  oppress  the  peasants,  must 
be  suppressed,  the  property  of  the  clergy  will  be  secularised  to 
compensate  the  princes,  and  provide  for  the  wants  of  the  empire  ; 
imposts  must  be  abolished,  with  the  exception  of  a  tribute,  which 
will  be  paid  every  ten  years ;  the  governing  power,  recognised  by 
the  New  Testament,  will  alone  subsist ;  all  other  princes  will  cease 
to  reign ;  sixty-fouf  free  tribunals  will  be  established,  and  men  of  all 
classes  will  have  seats  in  them ;  alt  states  will  return  to  their  primitive 
destination;  ecclesiastics  will,  henceforth,  only  be  pastors  of  churches; 
princes  and  knights  will  only  be  defenders  of  the  weak  ;  unity  of 
weights  and  measures  will  be  introduced  ;  and  only  one  species  of 
money  will  be  coined  throughout  the  empire. 

Meanwhile,  the  princes  had  recovered  from  their  first  stupor,  and 
George  of  Truchsess,  general-in-chief  of  the  imperial  army,  was  ad 
vancing  from  the  direction  of  the  Lake  of  Constance.  He  defeated 
the  peasants  on  the  2nd  of  May,  at  Beblingen,  marched  on  the  town 
of  Weinsberg,  where  the  unfortunate  Hclfenstein  had  perished,  and 
burnt  and  razed  it,  ordering  the  ruins  to  be  kept  up  as  an  eternal 
memorial  of  the  treachery  of  the  inhabitants.  At  Fiirfeld,  he  joined 
the  Elector  Palatine  and  the  Elector  of  Treves,  and  they  all  advanced 
in  a  body  towards  Franconia. 

Frauenburg,  the  citadel  of  Wurtzburg,  still  held  out  for  the  princes, 
and  the  grand  army  of  the  peasants  continued  under  its  walls. 
On  learning  the  approach  of  Truchsess,  they  determined  on  the. 
assault,  and  on  the  15th  of  May,  at  nine  in  the  evening,  the  trum 
pets  sounded,  the  three-coloured  flag  was  unfurled,  and  the  peasants 
rushed  to  the  attack,  uttering  fearful  cries.  Sebastian  of  Rotenhan, 
one  of  the  warmest  friends  of  the  Reformation,  had  the  command  of 
the  castle.  He  had  placed  the  defence  on  a  formidable  footing,  and 
when  he  exhorted  the  soldiers  courageously  to  repel  the  assault,  all 
had  sworn  to  do  so,  by  raising  three  of  their  fingers  to  heaven. 
The  most  dreadful  combat  then  took  place.  The  energy  and  despair 
of  the  peasants  was  answered  by  the  fortress  with  petards,  showers 
of  sulphur  and  boiling  pitch,  and  discharges  of  artillery.  The 
peasants  thus  struck  by  invisible  enemies,  were  for  a  moment 
surprised,  but  their  fury  soon  increased.  Night  advanced,  and  the 


struggle  was  prolonged.  The  fortress,  lighted  up  by  thousands  of 
battle  fires,  seemed,  amid  the  darkness,  like  a  proud  giant,  vomiting 
flames,  and  single-handed  amidst  the  cannons'  roar  struggling  for  the 
safety  of  the  empire,  against  the  ferocious  valour  of  savage  hordes. 
Two  hours  after  midnight  the  peasants,  having  failed  in  all  their 
eiforts,  at  last  withdrew. 

They  proposed  to  negotiate  either  with  the  garrison  or  with 
Truchsess,  who  was  advancing  at  the  head  of  his  army.  But  this 
was  to  abandon  their  position.  Violence  and  victory  alone  could  save 
them.  After  some  irresolution,  they  determined  to  set  out  and 
meet  the  imperial  army ;  but  the  artillery  and  the  cavalry  made 
frightful  ravages  in  their  ranks.  At  Konigshofen  and  next  at  Engel- 
stadt  these  poor  creatures  were  completely  defeated.  The  princes, 
nobles,  and  bishops,  abusing  their  victory,  displayed  unheard-of 
cruelty.  The  prisoners  were  hung  up  along  the  roads.  The 
bishop  of  Wurtzburg,  who  had  fled,  returned,  and  going  over  his 
whole  diocese  with  executioners,  watered  it  at  once  with  the  blood 
of  rebels,  and  the  blood  of  the  peaceable  friends  of  the  Word  of 
God.  Gotz  of  Berlichingen  was  condemned  to  perpetual  imprison 
ment.  The  Margrave  Casimir,  of  Anspach,  put  out  the  eyes  of 
eighty-five  peasants,  who  had  sworn  that  they  would  never 
again  look  upon  this  prince,  and  cast  upon  the  world  this 
band  of  blind  men,  who  went  up  and  down  holding  each  other  by 
the  hand,  feeling  their  way,  stumbling  and  begging  their  bread. 
The  wretched  boy,  who  had  played  the  death  march  of  Helfenstein, 
was  chained  to  a  stake,  a  fire  was  kindled  around  him,  and  the 
knights  stood  by  laughing  at  his  horrible  contortions. 

The  ritual  was  every  where  established  in  its  ancient  form.  The 
most  flourishing  and  populous  countries  of  the  empire  now  pre 
sented  to  the  traveller  only  heaps  of  carcases  and  smoking  ruins. 
Fifty  thousand  men  had  perished,  and  the  people  almost  every  where 
lost  the  little  freedom  which  they  had  hitherto  enjoyed.  Such  was, 
in  the  south  of  Germany,  the  fearful  end  of  this  revolt. 


Miinzer  at  Mulhausen— Appeal  to  the  People— March  of  the  Princes— End  ol  tne 
Revolt — Influence  of  the  Reformers — Sufferings — Change. 

But  the  evil  was  not  confined  to  the  south  and  west  of  Germany. 
Miinzer,  after  traversing  part  of  Switzerland,  Alsace,  and  Suabia, 


had  again  directed  his  steps  towards  Saxony.  Some  citizens  of 
Mulhausen  invited  him  into  their  town,  and  appointed  him  their 
pastor.  The  town  council  having  resisted,  Miinzer  deposed  it,  and 
named  another,  composed  of  his  friends,  with  himself  at  their  head. 
Entertaining  the  utmost  contempt  for  the  Christ,  u  sweet  as 
honey  whom  Luther  preached,"  he  determined  to  have  recourse  to  the 
most  energetic  measures.  "  It  is  necessary,"  said  he,  "to  make  all 
the  nations  of  Canaan  perish  by  the  sword,  as  Joshua  did."  He 
established  a  community  of  goods,  and  pillaged  the  convents.1 
Luther,  llth  April,  1525,  wrote  to  Amsdorff,  "  Miinzer  is  King 
and  Emperor  of  Mulhausen,  and  no  longer  merely  its  pastor."  The 
poor  no  longer  worked  ;  if  any  one  needed  cloth  or  corn,  he  went 
and  asked  it  of  some  rich  neighbour;  if  refused,  the  poor  man 
seized  it ;  if  the  ricJi  man  resisted,  he  was  hung.  Mulhausen  being 
an  independent  town,  Miinzer  was  able  to  exercise  his  power  with 
out  opposition  almost  for  a  year.  The  revolt  of  the  south  of  Ger 
many  led  him  to  believe  that  it  was  time  to  extend  his  new  kingdom. 
He  caused  cannon  of  large  calibre  to  be  cast  in  the  Franciscan  con 
vent,  and  endeavoured  to  make  a  rise  among  the  peasants  and  the 
miners  of  Mansfeld.  "  How  long  will  you  still  sleep?"  said  he  to  them 
in  a  fanatical  proclamation,  "rise  and  fight  for  the  Lord!  It  is  time. 
France,  Germany,  and  Italy  are  on  the  march.  On !  on !  on !  Dran  ( 
dran !  dran !  Pay  no  regard  to  the  distress  of  the  ungodly.  They 
will  beseech  you  like  children,  but  remain  pitiless.  Dran!  dran! 
dran!  Thefire  burns.  Let  your  sword  be  always  reeking  with  blood.2 
Dran !  dran !  dran !  Work  while  it  is  day."  The  letter  was  signed, 
"  Miinzer,  servant  of  God  against  the  ungodly." 

The  country  people,  eager  for  plunder,  flocked  to  his  banners. 
Every  where,  in  the  districts  of  Mansfeld,  Stolberg,  Schwarzberg, 
in  Hesse,  the  Duchy  of  Brunswick,  the  peasants  rose.  The  con 
vents  of  Michelstein,  Ilsenburg,  Walkenried,  Rossleben,  and 
many  others  near  the  Hartz,  or  in  the  plains  of  Thuringia,  were 
completely  pillaged.  At  Reinhardsbrunn,  which  Luther  had 
visited,  the  tombs  of  the  ancient  landgraves  were  profaned,  and 
the  library  destroyed. 

Terror  spread  far  and  wide.  At  Wittemberg  even  some  uneasi 
ness  was  felt.  These  teachers  who  had  not  feared  either  the  em 
peror  or  the  pope,  saw  themselves  obliged  to  tremble  before?a  mad 
man.  They  were  constantly  looking  out  for  the  news,  and  counted 
every  step  of  the  revolters.  "  We  are  here,"  said  Melancthon, 
"in  great  danger.  If  Miinzer  succeeds  it  is  all  over  with  us,  tit 
least  if  Christ  do  not  save  us.  Mtinzer  advances  with  a  cruelty 

1  Omnia  simul  communia.    (L.  Op.  xix,  p.  292.)  2  Lasset  euer  Sr.hwenU 

uicht  kalt  werden  von  Blut.    (Ibid.,  p.  28!>.) 


worse  than  that  of  the  Scythians,1  and  it  is  impossible  to  mouth 
the  atrocious  menaces  which  he  throws  out." 

The  pious  Elector  had  long  hesitated  as  to  the  course  he  ought 
to  pursue.  Miinzer  had  exhorted  him,  him  and  all  princes  to  be 
converted,  "  because,"  as  he  said,  "  their  hour  was  come  ; "  and 
he  had  signed  his  letters,  "  Miinzer,  armed  with  the  sword  of 
Gideon."  Frederick  had  been  desirous  to  bring  back  these  bewil 
dered  men  by  gentleness.  When  dangerously  ill,  he-  had  written 
on  the  14th  April,  to  his  brother  John, — "  Perhaps  these  poor 
people  have  had  more  than  one  ground  for  revolt.  Ah,  the  poor 
are  oppressed  in  many  ways  by  their  temporal  and  spiritual  lords." 
And  when  lie  was  reminded  of  the  humiliation,  revolutions,  and 
dangers  to  which  he  was  exposed  if  he  did  not  powerfully  suppress 
the  rebellion,  he  replied,  "  Hitherto  I  have  been  a  powerful 
Elector,  having  horses  and  carriages  in  abundance  ;  if  it  is  now  the 
Lord's  will  to  take  them  from  me,  I  will  walk  on  foot."  2 

The  first  of  the  princes  who  had  recourse  to  arms  was  the  young 
landgrave,  Philip  of  Hesse.  His  knights  and  soldiers  vowed  to 
live  and  die  with  him.  After  pacifying  his  own  States,  he  directed 
liis  course  towards  Saxony.  Duke  John,  the  Elector's  brother, 
Duke  George  of  Saxony,  and  Duke  Henry  of  Brunswick,  advanced 
in  the  other  direction,  and  united  their  forces  with  those  of  Hesse. 
The  peasants  frightened  at  the  sight  of  this  army,  took  refuge  on 
a  hill,  where,  without  discipline,  without  armour,  and  the  greater 
part  without  courage,  they  made  a  rampart  of  their  waggons. 
Miinzer  did  not  even  know  how  to  prepare  powder  for  his  immense 
camion.  No  assistance  appeared.  The  army  hemmed  in  the  rebels 
who  began  to  despond.  The  princes  taking  pity  on  them  offered 
conditions,  which  they  seemed  disposed  to  accept,  when  Miinzer 
betook  himself  to  the  most  powerful  instrument  which  enthusiasm 
can  bring  into  play.  u  To-day,"  said  he,  u  we  shall  see  the  arm 
of  the  Lord,  and  all  our  enemies  will  be  destroyed."  At  that  mo 
ment  a  rainbow  appeared,  and  Miinzer  took  advantage  of  it. 
*'  Fear  not,"  said  he  to  the  burghers  and  peasants,  "  I  will  receive 
all  the  bullets  which  will  be  shot  at  you  in  my  sleeve."  3  At  the 
same  time  he  ordered  a  young  gentleman,  Maternus  of  Geholfen,  an 
envoy  of  the  princes,  to  be  cruelly  murdered,  that  he  might  in  this 
way  deprive  the  rebels  of  all  hope  of  pardon. 

The  landgrave  having  assembled  his  troops,  said  to  them,  "  I 
know  well  that  we  princes  are  often  in  fault,  for  we  are  men  ;  but 
it  is  God's  pleasure  that  princes  be  honoured.  Let  us  save  our 

1  Moncerus  i,lus  qnam  Scythiam  crudelitatem  prse  se  fert.     (Corp.  Ref..  i,  p.  741.) 

2  So  wolle  er  hinkiinftig  KU.  fuss  gehen.     (3ec-k.,  p.  685.)  3  i),r  sout  Behen  dass 
«"h  alle  Buchsensteine  in  Errnel  fasseii  will.     ( I.  Op.  xix,  2y7.) 

162  ATTACK.      KND  OF  THE  ItEVOLT. 

wives  and  our  children  from  the  fury  of  these  murderers.  The 
Lord  will  give  us  the  victory;  for  he  has  said,  u  He  who  resists 
the  power  resists  the  ordinance  of  God"  Philip  then  gave  the 
signal  for  attack.  This  was  on  the  15th  May,  1525.  The  army 
moved  forward ;  but  the  crowd  of  peasants  remained  immovable, 
singing  the  hymn,  "  Come  Holy  Spirit, "  and  waiting  till  heaven  should 
declare  in  their  favour.  The  artillery  soon  broke  the  main  body, 
carrying  death  and  consternation  into  the  midst  of  them.  Their 
fanaticism  and  courage  at  once  forsook  them — they  were  seized 
with  a  panic,  and  fled  in  disorder.  Five  thousand  perished  in  the 
flight.  After  the  battle,  the  princes  and  their  victorious  troops 
entered  Frankeuhausen.  A  soldier  having  gone  up  to  the  loft 
of  the  house  where  he  was  quartered,  found  a  man  in  bed.1 
"  Who  are  you?"  said  he  to  him.  "Are  you  a  rebel?  "  Then 
having  discovered  a  portfolio,  he  took  it,  and  found  letters  in  it 
addressed  to  Thomas  Miinzer.  "  Are  you  Thomas,"  said  the 
trooper.  The  sick  man,  in  consternation,  said,  "  No."  But  th$ 
soldier  using  dreadful  threats,  Miinzer,  (for  it  was  indeed  he) 
confessed  who  he  was.  "  You  are  my  prisoner,"  said  the  soldier. 
Being  taken  before  Duke  George  and  the  landgrave,  Miinzer 
ended  by  saying  that  he  had  done  right  in  trying  to  chastise  the 
princes  since  they  opposed  the  gospel.  "  Wretch,"  said  they  to 
him,  u  think  of  all  those  whose  destruction  you  have  caused." 
But  he  replied  with  a  smile,  in  the  midst  of  his  anguish,  "  They 
would  have  it  so."  He  received  the  sacrament  under  one  kind, 
and  was  beheaded  along  with  Pfeiffer  his  lieutenant.  Mulhausen 
was  taken,  and  the  peasants  were  loaded  with  chains. 

A  noble  having  observed  in  the  crowd  of  prisoners  a  peasant  of 
good  appearance,  approached  him,  and  said,  "Well,  my  lad,  which 
government  pleases  you  best — that  of  peasants  or  that  of  princes?  " 
The  poor  man  replied  with  a  sigh,  "  Ah,  my  lord,  there  is  no  knife 
whose  blade  cuts  so  keenly  as  the  tyranny  of  one  peasant  over 
another."  2 

The  remains  of  the  revolt  were  extinguished  in  blood.  Duke 
George,  in  particular,  displayed  great  severity.  In  the  States  of 
the  Elector  there  was  neither  punishment  nor  execution.3  The 
Word  of  God,  preached  in  all  its  purity,  had  shown  its  efficacy  in 
restraining  the  tumultuous  passions  of  the  people. 

In  fact,  Luther  had  never  ceased  to  combat  the  rebellion,  which  he- 
regarded  as  the  forerunner  of  the  universal  judgment.  He  had 
spared  nothing — instruction,  entreaty,  not  even  irony.  At  the  end  of 

1  So  findet  er  einen  am  Bett.  3  Kein  Messer  Scherpfer  schirrt  denn  wenn  t-iii 

Baur  des  andern  Herr  wird.  (Mathesius,  p-  48.)  3  Hie  iiulla  carnificiua,  uullura 



•flio  articles  prepared  by  the  rebels  at  Erfurth,  he  had  added  as  a 
supplementary  article:  "  Item,  the  following  article  has  been  omit 
ted  :  Henceforth  the  honourable  council  shall  have  no  power ;  it 
shall  have  nought  to  do  bat  sit  like  an  idol  or  a  log ;  the  com 
munity  will  chew  all  its  meat  for  it,  and  the  council  will 
govern  bound  hand  and  foot.  Henceforth  the  waggon  will  go  be 
fore  the  horses,  the  horses  hold  the  reins,  and  all  go  on 
admirably,  conformably  to  the  fine  project  which  these  articles 

Luther  did  not  content  himself  with  writing.  While  the  tumult 
was  at  its  height,  he  left  Wittemberg,  and  travelled  over  several 
of  the  districts  where  the  greatest  agitation  reigned.  He  preached 
and  laboured  to  soften  down  men's  spirits,  and  his  hand,  which 
God  rendered  powerful,  directed,  calmed,  and  brought  back  to 
their  old  channel,  those  furious  torrents  which  had  burst  their  banks. 

The  teachers  of  the  Eeformation  every  where  exerted  the  same 
influence.  At  Halle,  Brentz,  by  the  promises  of  the  divine  Word, 
raised  the  drooping  spirits  of  the  burghers,  so  that  four  thousand 
peasants  had  fled  before  six  hundred  citizens.1  At  Ichterhausen, 
a  multitude  of  peasants  having  assembled  with  the  intention  of 
demolishing  several  castles,  and  putting  the  noble  proprietors  to 
death,  Frederick  Myconius  went  to  them  alone,  and  such  was 
the  power  of  his  eloquence  that  their  design  was  immediately 

Such  was  the  part  acted  by  the  Eeformers  and  the  Reformation 
in  the  midst  of  the  revolt.  They  combated  it  with  all  their  might 
by  the  sword  of  the  Word,  and  energetically  maintained  the  prin 
ciples  which  alone  are  capable,  at  all  times,  of  preserving  order  and 
obedience  among  the  nations.  Accordingly,  Luther  maintained 
that  if  the  power  of  sound  doctrine  had  not  arrested  the  fury  of 
the  people,  the  revolt  would  have  caused  much  greater  ravages, 
rmd  completely  overthrown  both  Church  and  State.  There  is 
every  reason  to  believe  that  this  dismal  foreboding  would  have 
been  realised. 

If  the  Reformers  thus  combated  sedition,  it  was  not  without  re 
ceiving  severe  shocks  from  it.  The  moral  agony  which  Luther  had 
first  felt  in  the  cell  at  Erfurth  was  perhaps  at  its  greatest  height 
after  the  revolt  of  the  peasants.  A  great  transformation  among 
mankind  is  not  produced  without  suffering  on  the  part  of  those  who 
are  the  instruments  of  it.  To  complete  the  work  of  Chris 
tianity,  the  agony  of  the  cross  was  necessary:  but  He  who  hung 

1  Eorum  animos  fractos  et  perturbatos  verbo  Dei  crexit.  (M.  Adam,  Tit.  Brenth,  p. 
A\\.)  2  Agrnen  rusticorum  qui  convenerant  ad  demoliendas  arces  unica  oratioiie 
tie  compescuit.  (Ibid.,  p.  178.) 


upon  the  cross  addresses  each  of  his  disciples  in  the  words,  u  Are 
ye  able  to  be  baptised  with  the  baptism  that  I  am  baptised  with  ?  " 

On  the  part  of  the  princes  it  was  incessantly  repeated  that  Lu 
ther  and  his  doctrine  were  the  cause  of  the  revolt,  and  however 
absurd  this  idea  was,  the  Reformer  could  not  see  it  so  generally 
received  without  a  feeling  of  deep  grief.  On  the  part  of  the  peo 
ple,  Miinzer  and  all  the  leaders  of  the  sedition  represented  Luther  as 
a  vile  hypocrite,  a  flatterer  of  the  great ; *•  and  these  calumnies  were 
readily  credited.  The  violent  terms  in  which  Luther  denounced 
the  rebels  had  offended  even  moderate  men.  The  friends  of 
Rome  triumphed;  2  all  were  against  him,  and  the  wrath  of  his  age 
lay  as  a  burden  upon  him.  But  what  tore  his  soul  most  of  all  was 
to  see  the  work  of  heaven  thus  dragged  through  the  mire,  and  placed 
in  the  same  rank  with  the  most  fanatical  projects.  He  here  recog 
nised  his  Gethseniane ;  he  saw  the  bitter  cup  which  was  presented 
to  him,  and  anticipating  universal  desertion,  exclaimed,  "  Omnes 
vos  scandalum  patiemini  in  ista  nocte"  3 

Still  amidst  all  this  bitterness  of  feeling  he  preserved  his  faith. 
"  He,"  said  he,  u  who  enabled  me  to  trample  the  enemy  under 
foot  when  he  rose  up  against  me  like  a  cruel  dragon  or  a  raging 
lion,  will  not  permit  this  enemy  to  crush  me  now  that  he  appears 
with  the  perfidious  aspect  of  the  serpent.4  I  behold  these  misfor 
tunes,  and  I  lament  them.  I  have  often  asked  myself  if  it  would 
not  be  better  to  allo\v  the  papacy  quietly  to  take  itstown  course, 
rather  than  see  so  many  disturbances  and  divisions  break  out  in 
the  world.  But  no !  Far  better  rescue  some  from  the  devil's  throat 
than  leave  them  all  under  his  murderous  fangs."  6 

It  was  at  this  period  that  a  revolution  in  Luther's  mind  which  had 
begun  in  the  Wartburg  was  completed.  The  internal  life  no  longer 
sufficed  him ;  the  Church  and  her  institutions  assumed  a  high  im 
portance  in  his  eyes.  The  boldness  with  which  he  had  demolished, 
stopped  at  the  sight  of  more  radical  demolition ;  he  felt  that  it  was 
necessary  to  preserve,  guide,  build  up,  and  from  amidst  the 
bloody  ruins  with  which  the  wars  of  the  peasants  covered  Ger 
many,  the  edifice  of  the  New  Church  began  slowly  to  arise. 

These  disturbances  left  a  deep  and  lasting  emotion.  The 
population  was  struck  with  terror.  The  masses  who  had 
sought  in  the  Reformation  only  political  liberty,  withdrew 

1  Quod  adulator  principum  vocer,     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  671.)  2  Gaudeut  papistae  de 

dissidio  nostro.     (Ibid.,  p.  612 )     The  papists  rejoice  at  our  .  3  "  All  ye 

shall  be  offended  because  of  me  this  night."  Matt,  xxvi,  31.  (Ibid.  p.  671.)  *  Qui  cum 
toties  haerenus  sub  pedibus  nieis  calcavit  et  contrivit  leonem  et  draconem,  noil  sinet 
etiaiu  basiliscurn. super  me  calcare.  (Ibid.)  He  who  has  hitherto  so  often  bruised 
and  trampled  the  lioa  and  tie  dragon  under  my  feet,  will  not  allow  the  adder  to 
trample  upon  me.  5  E«  ist  beSoer  eiuige  aus  dem  Rachen  des  Teufels  herau*. 

reisseii.     (L.  Op.  ii,  ed.  ix,  p.  9ol.) 

TWO  ISSUES.  165 

spontaneously  when  they  saw  that  spiritual  liberty  alone  was 
offered  them.  The  opposition  of  Luther  to  the  peasants  was 
equivalent  to  a  renunciation  of  the  ephemeral  favour  of  the  peo 
ple.  An  apparent  calm  was  soon  established,  and  the  turmoil  of 
enthusiasm  and  sedition,1  was,  throughout  Germany,  succeeded 
by  a  silence  which  terror  inspired. 

Thus  the  popular  passions,  the  revolutionary  cause,  the  prose 
cution  of  a  radical  equality  failed  in  the  empire,  but  the  Reformation 
did  not  fail.  These  two  movements,  which  many  confound,  are 
clearly  distinguished  by  their  different  results.  Revolt  came  from 
beneath,  the  Reformation  from  above.  A  few  cavalry  and  cannon 
were  sufficient  to  suppress  the  former,  but  the  latter  ceased  not  to 
rise,  strengthen,  and  increase  in  spite  of  the  incessantly  renewed 
attacks  of  the  empire  and  the  Church. 


Two  Issues — Death  of  Frederick — The  Prince  and  the  Reformer — Catholic  Alliance 
— Projects  of  Charles — Dangers. 

Still,  however,  the  cause  of  the  Reformation  seemed  at  first  doomed 
to  perish  in  the  abyss  which  engulphed  the  popular  liberties.  A  sad 
event  which  now  occurred  seemed  destined  to  hasten  its  end.  At  the 
moment  when  the  princes  were  marching  against  Mtinzer,  ten  days 
before  his  defeat,  the  old  Elector  of  Saxony, — he  whom  God  had 
raised  up  to  defend  the  Reformation  against  attacks  from  without, 
— was  descending  into  the  tomb. 

His  strength  was  daily  decaying,  and  the  horrors  with  which 
the  war  of  the  peasants  was  accompanied,  were  breaking  his  com 
passionate  heart.  "  Ah!"  exclaimed  he,  with  a  deep  sigh;  "if  it 
were  God's  will,  I  would  gladly  die.  No  longer  do  I  behold  on 
the  earth  either  love  or  truth,  or  faith,  or  any  thing  that  is 

Turning  his  eyes  from  the  combats  with  which  Germany  was 
resounding,  the  pious  prince  calmly  prepared  for  his  departure,  in 
his  castle  of  Lochau.  On  the  4th  May,  he  sent  for  his  chaplain, 
the  faithful  Spalatin.  "  You  do  well,"  said  he  to  him,  gently, 
as  he  entered,  "to  come  and  see  me;  for  the  sick  should  be 
visited."  Then  ordering  his  couch  to  be  wheeled  towards  the  table, 
near  which  Spalatin  was  seated,  he  ordered  all  his  attendants  to  retire, 

1  Ea  res — incussit,  vulgo  terrorem  .         ;  utnihil  usquam  moveatur.    (Corp.  Re£ 
p.  752  2  Noch  etwas  gates  mehr  in  der  Welt.    (Seek.,  p.  702.) 


and  affectionately  taking  hold  of  Spalatin's  hand,  spoke  to  him  of 
Luther,  the  peasants,  and  his  approaching  departure.  At  eight  in 
the  evening  Spalatin  returned,  when  the  prince  opened  his  whole 
heart  to  him,  and  confessed  his  sins,  in  the  presence  of  God. 
The  next  day  (5th  May),  he  received  the  communion  in  both 
kinds.  He  had  no  member  of  his  family  near  him — his  brother 
and  nephew  having  set  out  with  the  army;  but,  his  domestics  were 
around  him,  according  to  the  ancient  custom  of  those  times.  With 
eyes  fixed  on  the  venerable  prince,  who  had  been  so  kind  a  master, 
they  were  all  melted  in  tears.1  "  My  little  children,"  said  he, 
with  a  gentle  voice,  "if  I  have  offended  any  one  of  you,  let  me 
have  pardon  for  the  love  of  God ;  for  we  princes  often  give  pain 
to  inferiors,  and  that  is  wrong."  Thus  Frederick  verified  the 
words  of  the  apostle — "  Let  the  rich  rejoice,  in  that  he  is  made 
low;  because  as  the  flower  of  the  grass  he  shall  pass  away."  2 

Spalatin,  who  did  not  again  leave  him,  warmly  set  before  him 
the  rich  promises  of  the  gospel ;  and  the  pious  Elector,  in  its  power 
ful  consolations,  enjoyed  ineffable  peace.  The  evangelical  doctrine 
\vas  no  longer  vieAved  by  him  as  the  sword  which  attacks  error, 
pursues  it  wherever  it  is  found,  and  after  a  vigorous  struggle, 
finally  overcomes  it ;  it  distilled  in  his  heart  like  the  rain  and  the 
dew,  filling  it  with  hope  and  joy.  The  present  world  was  forgotten, 
and  Frederick  saw  only  God  and  eternity. 

Feeling  death  rapidly  approaching,  he  destroyed  the  testament 
which  he  had  written  several  years  before,  and  in  which  he  recom 
mended  his  soul  to  the  "  Mother  of  God,"  and  dictated  another,  in 
which  he  cast  himself  upon  the  sacred  merits  of  Jesus  Christ  alone 
"for  the  forgiveness  of  his  sins ;"  and  declared  his  firm  conviction  that 
"  he  was  ransomed  by  the  precious  blood  of  his  beloved  Saviour."  3 
After  this  he  said,  "  I  can  do  no  more;"  and  at  five  in  the  evening 
gently  fell  asleep.  "  He  was  a  child  of  peace,"  exclaimed  his  phy 
sician,  "and  he  has  departed  in  peace."  "  O,  death  !  "  said  Luther, 
"  how  bitter  to  those  whom  thou  leavest  in  life."  4 

Luther,  who  was  then  in  Thuringia,  trying  to  calm  it,  had  never 
seen  the  Elector  but  at  a  distance,  at  Worms,  standing  beside  Charles 
V.  But  these  two  men  had  met  in  soul,  the  first  moment  the 
Reformation  appeared.  Frederick  longed  for  nationality  and  inde 
pendence — as  Luther  longed  for  truth  and  Reformation.  No  doubt, 
the  Reformation  was,  first  of  all,  a  spiritual  work ;  but  it  was  per 
haps  necessary,  to  its  first  success,  that  it  should  link  itself  to  some 
national  interest.  Accordingly,  no  sooner  had  Luther  made  a 

i  Das  alle  Umstehende  zum  weinen  bewefjt.    (Seek.  p.  702.)  3  James,  i,  10. 

3  Durch  das  theure  Slut  meines  allerliebsten  Heylandes  erl'oset.    (Ibid.  p.  70J.) 
*  0  mors  amara !     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  659.) 


stand  against  indulgences,  than  the  alliance  between  the  prince 
and  the  monk  was  tacitly  concluded — an  alliance  purely  moral, 
•without  contract,  without  writing,  without  words  even,  and  in 
which  the  strong  gave  no  other  aid  to  the  weak  than  to  allow  him 
to  act.  But  now  that  the  vigorous  oak,  under  whose  shelter  the 
Reformation  had  gradually  grown  up  was  hewn  down — now  that 
the  enemies  of  the  gospel  were  every  where  displaying  new  hatred 
and  strength,  while  its  partisans  were  obliged  to  hide  themselves 
or  be  silent,  nothing  seemed  able  to  defend  it  against  the  sword 
of  its  furious  persecutors. 

The  confederates  at  Ratisbon  who  had  vanquished  the  peasants 
in  the  south  and  west  of  the  empire,  every  where  struck  at  the 
Reformation,  as  well  as  the  revolt.  At  Wurtzburg  and  Bamberg, 
several  of  the  most  peaceable  citizens,  some  even  who  had  opposed 
the  peasants,  were  put  to  death.  "  No  matter,"  it  was  openly  said, 
"  they  were  adherents  of  the  gospel."  This  was  enough  to  make 
them  lose  their  heads.1 

Duke  George  hoped  to  make  the  landgrave  and  Duke  John 
share  in  his  love  and  his  hatred.  "  See,"  said  he  to  them,  after 
the  defeat  of  the  peasants,  and  showing  them  the  field  of  battle, 
u  see  the  mischiefs  engendered  by  Luther."  John  and  Philip 
seemed  to  give  some  hope  of  adopting  his  views.  "  Duke  George," 
said  the  Reformer,  "  imagines  he  is  to  triumph  now  that  Frederick " 
is  dead;  but  Christ  reigns  in  the  midst  of  his  enemies:  in  vain 
do  they  gnash  their  teeth;  their  desire  will  perish." 2 

George  lost  no  time  in  forming  a  confederation,  similar  to  that  of 
"Ratisbon,  in  the  north  of  Germany.  The  Electors  of  Mentz  and 
Brandenburg — Dukes  Henry  and  Eric  of  Brunswick,  and  Duke 
George,  met  at  Dessau,  and  there,  in  July,  concluded  a  Roman 
alliance.3  George  urged  the  new  Elector,  and  the  landgrave,  his 
son-in-law,  to  give  in  their  adherence  to  it.  Then,  as  if  to  an 
nounce  what  were  to  be  its  results,  he  beheaded  two  citizens  of 
Leipsic,  in  whose  house  some  of  the  Reformer's  writings  had  been 

At  the  same  time  a  letter  of  Charles  V,  dated  Toledo,  arrived  in 

Germany,  appointing  a  new  diet  to  be  held  at  Augsburg.    Charles 

wished  to  give  a  new  constitution  to  the  empire,  that  would  enable 

him  to  dispose,  at  pleasure,  of  the  forces  of  Germany.    The  reli- 

I   gious  divisions  furnished  him  with  the  means.     He  had  only  to  let 

ij  loose  the  Catholics  on  the  evangelicals.     When  they  had  mutually 

enfeebled  each  other,   he  would  obtain   an  easy  triumph  over 

1  Ranke  Deutsche  Gesch.  ii,  p.  226.  2  Dux  Georgius,  mortuo  Frederico,  pntat 

Ise  omnia  posse.     (L.  Ep.  iii,  p.  22.)  3  Habito  conciliabulo  conjuraverunt  resti- 

turos  seso  esse  omnia    ....    (Ibid.)  Having  held  a  meeting,  bound  to  restore  «1J 


both.     Down  with  the    Lutherans!    was  the  emperor's  watch 

Tims,  there  was  a  kind  of  universal  league  against  the  Reforma 
tion.  Never  had  the  soul  of  Luther  been  so  oppressed  with  fears. 
The  remains  of  Munzer's  sect  had  sworn  that  they  would  have  his 
life,  and  his  only  protector  was  no  more.  Duke  George,  he  was 
informed,  intended  to  apprehend  him  even  in  Wittemberg.2 
The  princes,  who  might  have  been  able  to  defend  him,  hung  down 
their  heads,  and  seemed  to  have  forsaken  the  gospel.  The  univer 
sity,  already  thinned  by  disturbances,  was,  it  was  said,  to  be 
suppressed  by  the  new  Elector.  Charles,  victorious  at  Pavia,  was 
assembling  a  new  diet,  with  the  view  of  giving  the  finishing  blow 
to  the  Reformation.  What  dangers,  then,  must  he  not  have  fore 
seen  ....  That  anguish,  those  inward  sufferings  which  had 
often  wrung  cries  from  Luther,  tore  his  soul.  How  shall  he  resist  so 
many  enemies  ?  Amidst  these  agitations,  in  presence  of  these  many 
perils,  beside  the  corpse  of  Frederick  almost  before  it  was  cold, 
and  the  dead  bodies  of  the  peasants  who  strewed  the  plains  of 
Germany — who  would  have  thought  it — Luther  married ! 

CHAP.  xni. 

The  Xnns  of  Nimptsch— Luther's  Feelings — End  of  tho  Convent — Luther'-  Mar 
riage — Domestic  Happiness-  • 

In  the  monastery  of  Mmptsch,  near  Grimma,  there  wore,  in  1523, 
nine  nuns,  who  diligently  read  the  Word  of  God,  and  had  per 
ceived  the  contrast  between  the  Christian  life  and  the  life  of  the 
cloister.  Their  names  were — Magdalene  Staupitz,  Eliza  Canitz, 
Ave  Grossn,  Ave  and  Margaret  Schonfeld,  Laneta  Golis,  Margaret 
and  Catherine  Zeschau,  and  Catherine  Bora.  The  first  proceeding 
of  these  young  persons,  after  they  had  withdrawn  from  the  super 
stitions  of  the  monastery,  was  to  write  their  parents.  "  The  salva 
tion  of  our  souls,"  they  said,  "  does  not  allow  us  to  continue  any 
longer  to  live  in  a  cloister."  3  The  parents,  fearing  the  trouble 
which  such  a  resolution  might  give  them,  harshly  repulsed  the 
desire  of  their  daughters.  The  poor  nuns  knew  not  what  to  do.  How 
were  they  to  leave  the  monastery?  They  trembled  at  the  thought 
of  so  desperate  a  step.  At  last,  the  disgust  which  the  papal  wor 
ship  produced,  carried  the  day.  They  promised  not  to  quit 
each  other,  but  to  repair,  in  a  body,  to  some  respectable  place. 

1  Sleidan,  Hist,  of  the  Ref.  i,  p.  214.  a  Kdi  Luther's  Leben,  p.  160.  *  Der 

Seelen  Seligkeit  halber.    (L.  I2p.  ii,  p.  323.) 


decently,  and  in  order.1  Leonard  Koppe  and  Wolff  Tomitzch, 
two  worthy  and  pious  citizens  of  Torgau,  offered  their  assistance.2 
They  accepted  it,  as  sent  by  God  himself,  and  left  the  convent 
of  Nimptsch  without  meeting  with  any  opposition,  as  if  the  hand 
of  the  Lord  had  opened  the  gates  for  them.3  Koppe  and  Tomitzch 
received  them  in  their  car ;  and,  on  the  7th  April,  1523,  the  nine 
nuns,  astonished  at  their  own  hardihood,  stopped,  with  emotion, 
before  the  gate  of  the  old  Augustin  convent,  where  Luther  was 

"  It  is  not  I  who  have  done  it,"  said  Luther  on  receiving  them ; 
"  but  would  to  God  I  could  thus  save  all  captive  consciences,  and 
empty  all  cloisters."  4  Several  persons  made  an  offer  to  the  doctor 
to  receive  the  nuns  into  their  houses,  and  Catherine  Bora  was  taken 
into  the  family  of  the  burgomaster  of  Wittemberg. 

If,  at  that  time,  Luther  had  any  thought  of  preparing  for  some 
solemn  event,  it  was  to  mount  the  scaffold — not  approach  the 
hymeneal  altar.  Many  months  later,  his  answer  to  those,  who 
spoke  to  him  of  marriage  was,  "  God  can  change  my  heart  as  he 
pleases;  but  now,  at  least,  I  have  no  thought  whatever  of  taking  a 
wife ;  not  that  I  do  not  feel  some  inclination  for  the  married  state : 
I  am  neither  wood  nor  stone ;  but  I  am  in  daily  expectation  of 
the  death  and  punishment  due  to  a  heretic." 5 

Still  every  thing  in  the  Church  continued  to  advance.  The 
monastic  life,  an  invention  of  man,  was  every  where  succeeded  by 
the  habits  of  domestic  life.  On  Sunday,  9th  October,  Luther 
having  risen  as  usual,  laid  aside  his  Augustin  frock,  put  on  the 
dress  of  a  secular  priest,  and  then  made  his  appearance  in  the 
church,  where  the  change  produced  the  greatest  joy.  Christen 
dom,  which  had  renewed  its  youth,  gave  a  glad  welcome  to  all 
which  announced  that  old  things  were  passed  away. 

Shortly  after  the  last  monk  quitted  the  convent,  but  Luther  still 
remained;  his  steps  alone  were  heard  in  its  long  passages,  and  he 
sat  alone  in  silence  in  the  refectory,  which  was  wont  to  echo  with 
the  tattle  of  the  monks.  An  eloquent  solitude!  one  which 
attested  the  triumphs  of  the  Word  of  God!  The  convent  had 
ceased  to  exist.  Towards  the  end  of  1524,  Luther  sent  the  keys 
of  the  monastery  to  the  Elector,  stating  that  he  would  see  where 
God  might  be  pleased  to  give  him  food.6  The  Elector  gave  the 
convent  to  the  university,  and  asked  Luther  to  continue  to  reside 

l  Mit  aller  Zucht  und  Ehre  an  redliche  Statte  und  Orte  kommen.     (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  323.) 
3  Per  honestos  cives  Torgavienses  adductae.    (Ibid.  p.  319.)  3  Mirabiliter 

evaserunt.    (Ibid.)    They  made  a  miraculous  escape.  *  Und  alle  Klbster  ledip 

machen.    (Ibid.  p.  32'2.)  6  Cum  expectem  quotidie  mortem  et  meritum  hseretici 

•upplicium.    (Ibid.  p.  570,  30th  November,  1524.)  6  Muss  und  will   Ich  sehen 

wo  mien  Gott  er  mill  ret.    (Ibid.  p.  582.) 

3  II 


in  it.  The  abode  of  the  monks  was  soon  to  become  the  hearth  of  a 
Christian  family. 

Luther,  whose  heart  was  so  well  fitted  to  relish  the  sweets  of 
domestic  life,  honoured  and  loved  the  married  state;  it  is  even 
probable  that  he  had  an  attachment  for  Catherine  Bora.  For  a  long 
time  his  scruples,  and  the  thought  of  the  calumnies  to  which  the 
step  might  give  rise,  had  prevented  him  from  thinking  of  her ;  and 
he  had  made  an  offer  of  poor  Catherine,  first  to  Baumgartner  of 
Nuremberg, x  and  then  to  Doctor  Glatz  of  Nuremberg.  But  when 
he  saw  Baumgartner  refuse  Catherine,  and  Glatz  refused  by  her, 
he  asked  himself  more  seriously,  if  he  should  not  form  the  con 
nection  in  his  own  person. 

His  old  father,  who  had  been  so  much  grieved  at  his  embracing 
the  ecclesiastical  stiate,  urged  him  to  marry.2  But  there  was  one 
idea  which  perpetually  presented  itself  to  Luther's  conscience 
with  new  energy ;  marriage  is  a  divine — celibacy  a  human  insti 
tution.  He  had  a  horror  at  every  thing  that  came  from  Rome. 
"I  wish,"  said  he,  to  his  friends,  "to  preserve  no  part  of  my 
papistical  life."  3  He  prayed  night  and  day,  beseeching  the  Lord 
to  deliver  him  from  his  uncertainty.  At  length  all  scruples  were 
dissipated  by  one  consideration.  To  all  the  motives  of  convenience 
and  personal  feeling  wThich  led  him  to  apply  to  himself  the  words, 
u  It  is  not  good  that  man  should  be  alone"  4  was  added  a  motive  of 
a  still  higher  nature  and  greater  power.  He  saw,  that  if  he  was 
called  to  marriage  as  a  man,  he  was  still  more  called  to  it  as  a 
Reformer.  This  decided  him. 

"If  this  monk  marries,"  said  his  friend,  lawyer  Schurff,  "he 
will  make  the  world  and  the  devil  burst  with  laughter,  and  destroy 
the  work  which  he  has  begun."5  This  saying  made  a  very 
different  Impression  on  Luther  from  what  might  have  been  sup 
posed.  To  defy  the  world,  the  devil,  and  his  enemies,  and,  by  an 
action,  fitted,  as  was  thought,  to  destroy  the  work  of  the  Reforma 
tion,  to  prevent  the  success  of  it  from  being  in  any  way  ascribed 
to  him,  was  the  veiy  thing  which  he  desired.  Hence,  boldly 
lifting  his  head,  he  replied  ' '  Very  well,  I  shall  do  it.  I  shall  play  this 
trick  "to  the  world  and  the  devil — I  will  give  this  joy  to  my  father,  I 
will  many  Catherine."  By  marrying,  Luther  broke  still  more  com 
pletely  with  the  institutions  of  the  papacy.  He  confirmed  the 
doctrine  which  he  had  preached  by  his  example,  and  encouraged 
the  timid  entirely  to  renounce  their  errors.6  At  this  time, 

1  Si  vis  KetamtuamaBora  tenere.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  563.)  2  Aus  Begehren  ineines 

lichen  Vaters.    (Ibid,  iii,  p.  2.)  3  Ibid.  p.  1.  *  Genesis,  ii,  18.  5  Risuros 

mundum  universum  et  diabolum  ipsum.     (M.  Ad.  Vit.  Luth.  p.  130.)  6  Ut  con- 

lirmem  facto  quse  docui,  tain  multos  invenio  pusillanimes  in  tanta  luce  EvangeliL 
( L.  Ep.  iii,  p.  13.)  That  I  may,  by  act,  confirm  what  I  have  taught,  so  many  do  I  find 
pusillanimous  in  this  great  light  of  the  gospel. 


Rome  was,  apparently,  here  and  there  regaining  part  of  the  terri 
tory  which  she  had  lost:  she  was,  perhaps,  beginning  to  cherish  a 
hope  of  victory ;  and  lo,  a  mighty  explosion  carries  surprise  and 
terror  into  her  ranks,  and  makes  her  more  fully  aware  of  the 
courage  of  the  enemy,  whom  she  thought  she  had  tamed.  "  I 
wish,"  said  Luther,  "  to  bear  testimony  to  the  gospel,  not  only  by 
my  words,  but  also  by  my  works.  In  the  face  of  my  enemies,  who 
already  triumph,  and  sing  jubilee,  I  mean  to  marry  aimn,  in  order 
that  they  may  understand  and  know  that  they  have  not  vanquished 
me.1  I  do  not  marry  in  the  hope  of  living  long  with  my  wife ;  but 
seeing  people  and  princes  letting  loose  their  fury  against  me,  fore 
seeing  that  my  end  is  near,  and  that  after  my  death  they  will 
trample  my  doctrine  under  foot.  I  mean  to  leave,  for  the  edification 
of  the  weak,  a  striking  confirmation  of  what  I  have  taught  here 
below."  2 

On  the  llth  June,  1525,  Luther  repaired  to  the  house  of  his 
friend  and  colleague,  Amsdorff.  He  asked  for  Pomeranus,  whom 
he  distinguished  by  the  name  of  "  the  Pastor,"  to  bless  his  union. 
The  celebrated  painter,  Lucas  Cranach,  and  Doctor  John  Apelles, 
acted  as  witnesses.  Melancthon  was  not  present. 

Luther's  marriage  made  a  noise  throughout  Christendom.  He 
was  assailed  from  all  quarters  with  accusations  and  calumnies. 
"It  is  incest!"  exclaimed  Hemy  VIII.  "A  monk  marrying  a 
vestal!"  said  some.3  "Antichrist  must  be  born  of  this  union," 
said  others ;  for  there  is  a  prophecy  that  he  is  to  spring  from  a 
monk  and  a  nun."  On  this  Erasmus  observed,  with  a  sarcastic 
smile,  "If  the  prophecy  be  true,  how  many  thousands  of  Antichrists 
must  the  world  already  contain !"  4  But  while  Luther  was  thus 
assailed,  several  wise  and  moderate  men  within  the  pale  of  the 
Romish  Church  took  up  his  defence.  "Luther,"  said  Erasmus, 
"  has  married  a  member  of  the  illustrious  house  of  Bora,  but  with 
out  dowry." 5  A  still  more  venerable  testimony  was  given  to  him. 
The  teacher  of  Germany,  Philip  Melancthon,  Avhom  this  bold  step 
had  at  first  amazed,  said,  in  that  solemn  tone,  to  which  even  his 
enemies  listened  with  respect, — "If  it  is  pretended  that  there  is 
any  thing  unbecoming  in  the  marriage  of  Luther,  it  is  a  lie  and  a 

lumny.6    I  think  he  must  have  done  violence  to  his  own  feelings 

Nonna  ducta  uxore  in  despectum  triumphantium  et  clamantium,  To!_To!  hos- 
',  (L.  Ep.  iii,  p  21.)  2  jjon  (juxi  uxorem  ut  diu  viverem,  sed  quod  nunc 

iorem  finem  meum  suspicarer.  (Ibid.  p.  32.)  I  have  not  married  for  long  life, 
because  I  suspect  my  end  is  drawing  near.  3  Monachus  cum  vestali  copu- 

tur.  (M.  Ad.  Vit.  Luth.  p.  131.)  *  Quot  Antichristorum  millia  jam  olim 

et  mundus.  (Er.  Ep.  p.  789.)  5  Erasmus  adds  : — "  Partu  maturo  sponsoe 

lus  erat  rumor.  (Ibi<l.  pp.  780,  789.)  There  was  a  foolish  rumour  that  his  wife  \v;is 
;  to  have  a  child.  6  '  On  \^iv^o;  rouro  x,ot}  ^«/Ja/i»?  \cn.  (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p, 

3,  ail  Cam.) 

3  m 


in  marrying.  Married  life  is  a  humble,  but  it  is  also  a  holy 
state  —  if  there  is  such  a  state  in  the  world  —  and  the  Scriptures 
uniformly  represent  it  as  honourable  in  the  sight  of  God." 

Luther  was  at  first  moved  on  seeing  so  much  contempt  and  wrath 
poured  out  upon  him.  Melancthon  redoubled  his  friendship  and 
regard,1  and  the  Reformer  was  soon  able  to  see  in  the  opposition 
of  men  only  a  sign  of  the  approbation  of  God.  "  Did  I  not  offend 
the  world,"  said  he,  "  I  should  have  reason  to  tremble,  lest  what 
I  have  done  should  not  be  agreeable  to  God."  2 

There  was  an  interval  of  eight  years  between  Luther's  attack  on 
indulgences,  and  his  marriage  with  Catherine  Bora.  It  would  thus 
be  difficult,  though  it  is  still  attempted,  to  attribute  his  zeal  against 
the  abuses  of  the  Church  to  an  impatient  desire  of  marrying.  He 
was  at  this  time  forty-two  years  of  age,  and  Catherine  Bora  had 
been  two  years  at  Wittemberg. 

Luther  was  happy  in  his  marriage.  "  The  greatest  gift  of  God," 
said  he,  "is  a  pious  amiable  spouse,  who  fears  God,  loves  her  house, 
and  with  whom  one  can  live  in  peace  and  perfect  confidence."  Some 
months  after  his  marriage,  he  announced  to  one  of  his  friends  that 
Catherine  had  hopes  of  becoming  a  mother.3  A  son  was  born  about 
a  year  after  the  marriage.4  The  sweets  of  domestic  life  soon  dissi 
pated  the  clouds  which  the  anger  of  his  enemies  had  at  first  raised 
around  him.  His  Ketha,  (Kate,)  as  he  called  her,  showed  the 
greatest  affection  for  him  —  comforted  him,  when  he  was  depressed, 
by  quoting  passages  of  the  Bible  to  him,  relieved  him  from  all  the 
cares  of  ordinary  life,  sat  beside  him  during  his  hours  of  leisure, 
embroidered  the  portrait  of  her  husband,  reminded  him  of  the  friends 
to  whom  he  had  forgotten  to  write,  and  often  amused  him  by  her 
simple-hearted  questions.  There  appears  to  have  been  a  certain 
degree  of  pride  in  her  temper  :  hence  Luther  sometimes  called  her 
"Sir  Kate."  He  one  day  said  in  jest,  that,  if  he  were  still  unmar 
ried,  he  would  hew  an  obedient  wife  for  himself  out  of  stone,  for 
such  an  one  no  where  existed  in  reality.  His  letters  fully  expressed 
his  fondness  for  Catherine.  He  called  her  "  his  dear  and  affec 
tionate  wife,"  —  "  his  dear  and  amiable  Kate."  Luther's  humour 
was  more  sportive  in  Catherine's  society;  and  this  happy  turn 
of  mind  continued  with  him  ever  after,  even  amidst  the  greatest 

The  almost  universal  corruption  of  the  clergy  had  brought  the 
priesthood  into  the  greatest  contempt,  and  though  there  were  some 

t*ov$*  xai  tlvoia.      (Corp.  Ref«  i,  p.  753,  ad  Cam.)  2  He  adds  j 

Offenditur  etiam  in  came  ipsius  divinitatis  et.creatoris.    (L.  Ep.  iii,  p.  32) 

s  21st  October,  1525.    Catena  inea  simulat  vel  vere  implet  illud  Genes,  iii.  Tu  dolore 
gravida  eris.     (Ibid.,  p.  35,)'  4  Mir  meine  liebe  Kethe  einen  Hansen  Luther  i 

bracht  hat  gestcrn  um  zwei.    (8th  June,  1526.    Ibid.  p.  119.) 


true  servants  of  God,  their  isolated  virtues  could  do  away  with  it. 
Domestic  peace,  conjugal  fidelity,  the  surest  foundations  of  earthly 
happiness,  were  continually  disturbed  in  town  and  country  by  the 
licentiousness  of  monks  and  priests.  None  were  secure  against 
their  attempts  at  seduction.  They  took  advantage  of  the  free  ac 
cess  which  they  had  into  the  bosom  of  families,  and  sometimes  also 
of  the  intimate  intercourse  furnished  by  the  confessional,  to  instil 
a  deadly  poison  into  their  penitents,  and  so  gratify  their  vicious 
propensities.  The  Reformation,  by  abolishing  the  celibacy  of 
priests,  re-established  the  sacredness  of  the  marriage  tie.  The 
marriage  of  ecclesiastics  put  an  end  to  an  immense  number  of 
secret  crimes.  The  Reformers  became  models  to  their  flocks  in 
the  most  intimate  and  important  relation  of  life,  and  the  people 
were  not  slow  in  expressing  their  joy  at  again  seeing  the  ministers 
of  religion  become  husbands  and  fathers. 


The  Landgrave— The  Elector— Prussia— Reformation— Secularisation— The  Arch 
bishop  of  Mentz— Conference  of  Friedewalt^-Diet— Alliance  of  Torgau— -Resistance 
of-the  Reformers—Alliance  of  Magdeburg— The  Catholics  redouble  their  efforts- 
Marriage  of  the  Emperor— Threatening  Letters— The  two  Parties. 

Luther's  marriage  at  first  seemed  to  add  to  the  embarrassment 
of  the  Reformation,  which  was  still  suffering  from  the  shock  which 
it  had  received  from  the  revolt  of  the  peasants.  The  sword  of  the 
emperor  and  the  princes  had  always  been  drawn  against  it,  and  its 
friends,  the  landgrave  and  the  new  Elector,  seemed  discouraged 
and  afraid  to  speak  out. 

However,  this  state  of  things  was  not  of  long  duration.  The 
young  landgrave  soon  stood  up  boldly.  Ardent  and  courageous, 
like  Luther,  he  had  been  won  by  the  charms  of  the  Reformer's 
character.  He  threw  himself  into  the  cause  of  the  Reformation 
with  the  eagerness  of  youth,  and  at  the  same  time  studied  it  with 
the  gravity  of  a  maturer  intellect. 

In  Saxony,  the  place  of  Frederick  had  not  been  supplied  either  in 
regard  to  wisdom  or  influence  ;  but  his  brother,  the  Elector  John, 
instead  of  the  passive  part  of  protection,  interfered  more  directly,  and 
with  more  courage  in  religious  affairs.  When  quitting  Weimar  on  the 
16th  August,  1525,  he  iatimated  to  the  assembled  priests,  "  I  desire 
that  in  future  you  preach  the  pure  Word  of  God,  without  any 
human  addition."  Some  old  ecclesiastics,  who  did  not  know  how 


to  obey,  replied  with  great  simplicity,  "We  are  not  forbidden, 
however,  to  say  mass  for  the  dead,  nor  to  bless  water  and  salt." — 
"Every  thing,"  resumed  the  Elector,  "ceremonies  as  well  as 
preaching,  ought  to  be  regulated  by  the  Word  of  God." 

The  young  landgrave  shortly  after  formed  the  strange  project  of 
converting  his  father-in-law,  Duke  George.  Sometimes  he  proved 
the  sufficiency  of  Scripture,  sometimes  attacked  the  mass,  the  papacy, 
and  vows.  Letter  succeeded  letter,  and  all  the  declarations  of  the 
Word  of  God  were  alternately  opposed  to  the  faith  of  the  old  duke.1 

These  efforts  did  not  prove  useless.  The  son  of  Duke  George 
was  gained  to  the  Reformation.  But  Philip  failed  with  his  father- 
in-law.  "  In  one  hundred  years,"  said  the  latter,  "it  will  be  seen 
who  is  in  the  right." — "  Sad  words,"  said  the  Elector  of  Saxony. 
"What  kind  of  faith  is  it  that  stands  in  need  of  such  a  trial?"3 
"Poor  duke  .  ..."  He  will  wait  long-.  God,  I  fear,  has  hardened 
him  as  he  did  Pharaoh." 

In  Philip  the  evangelical  party  found  a  bold  and  intelligent  leader, 
capable  of  withstanding  the  formidable  attacks  which  their  enemies 
were  preparing.  But  is  there  not  reason  to  regret  that  the  head  of 
the  Reformation  was,  from  this  moment,  a  man  of  war,  instead  of 
being  a  mere  disciple  of  the  Word  of  God?  The  human  element  was 
enlarged,  and  the  spiritual  element  diminished.  This  was  detri 
mental.  For  every  work  ought  to  be  developed  according  to  its 
own  nature,  and  that  of  the  Reformation  was  essentially  spiritual. 

God  was  multiplying  its  supports.  A  powerful  state  on  the 
frontiers  of  "Germany,  Prussia,  gladly  arrayed  itself  under  the 
gospel  standard.  The  chivalric  and  religious  spirit  which  had 
founded  the  Teutonic  order  had  gradually  died  away  with  the 
times  which  gave  it  birth.  The  knights,  now  seeking  only  their 
private  interest,  had  produced  dissatisfaction  among  the  people 
subject  to  them.  Poland  had  profited  by  this  in  1466  to  obtain 
from  the  order  a  recognition  of  her  sovereignty.  The  people,  the 
knights,  the  grand  master,  the  Polish  government,  were  so  many 
opposite  powers,  which  were  continually  jostling  each  other,  and 
rendered  the  prosperity  of  the  country  impossible. 

Then  came  the  Reformation,  and  in  it  was  recognised  the  only 
means  of  deliverance  to  this  unhappy  people.  Brismann,  Speratus, 
Poliarider,  (Dr.  Eck's  secretary  at  the  Leipsic  discussion,)  and 
others  preached  the  gospel  in  Prussia. 

One  day  a  mendicant,  from  the  countries  subject  to  the  Teutonic 
knights,  arrived  at  Wittemberg,  and,  halting  before  Luther's  door, 
with  solemn  voice  sang  Poliander's  beautiful  hymn, — 

i  Rormnels  Urkundenbuch,  i,  p.  2.  a  Was  das  fur  ein  Glaube  sey,  der  cine 

solche  Erfahrung  erfordert.  (Seckead.  p.  739.) 



.  "To  us  at  length  salvation  comes."  l 

The  Reformer,  who  had  never  heard  the  hymn,  listened  with 
astonishment  and  rapture.  The  foreign  accent  of  the  singer  in 
creased  his  joy.  "Again!  again!  "  exclaimed  he,  when  the  men 
dicant  had  finished.  He  then  asked  him  where  he  got  the  hymn, 
and  his  tears  began  to  fall  when  he  learned  that  from  the  shores 
of  the  Baltic  a  cry  of  deliverance  was  resounding  even  in  Wittem- 
berg.  Then  clasping  his  hands,  he  thanked  God.2 

In  fact,  salvation  was  there. 

"  Take  pity  on  our  misery,"  said  the  people  of  Prussia  to  the 
grand  master,  "  and  give  us  preachers  who  proclaim  the  pure  gos 
pel  of^  Jesus  Christ."  Albert  at  first  gave  no  answer,  but  he 
entered  into  conference  with  Sigismund,  King  of  Poland,  his  uncle 
and  sovereign  lord,  who  acknowledged  him  as  hereditary  Duke  of 
Prussia.3  The  new  prince  entered  his  capital  of  Konigsberg  amid 
the  ringing  of  bells,  and  the  acclamations  of  the  people ;  all  the 
houses  were  splendidly  decorated,  and  the  streets  strewed  with 
flowers.  "There  is  only  one  order,  said  Albert,  and  that  is 
Christendom."  The  monastic  orders  disappeared,  and  the  divine 
order  was  re-established. 

The  bishops  gave  up  their  secular  rights  to  the  new  duke ;  the 
convents  were  turned  into  hospitals ;  the  gospel  was  preached  even 
in  the  humblest  village,  and,  in  the  following  year,  Albert  married 
Dorothea,  daughter  of  the  King  of  Denmark,  whose  "  faith  in  the 
one  only  Saviour  "  was  immoveable. 

The  pope  called  upon  the  Emperor  to  exercise  severity  against 
this  " apostate"  monk,  and  Charles  put  Albert  under  the  ban. 

Another  prince,  of  the  family  of  Brandenburg,  Albert,  Archbishop 
of  Mentz,  was  then  on  the  point  of  following  the  example  of  his 
cousin.  The  war  of  the  peasants  threatened  the  ecclesiastical 
states  in  particular;  the  Elector,  Luther,  all  Germany  believed 
that  they  were  on  the  eve  of  a  great  revolution.  The  archbishop 
thinking  that  the  only  means  of  saving  his  principality  was  se 
cretly  to  secularise  it,  asked  Luther  to  prepare  the  people  for  this 
bold  step.4  This  Luther  did  by  a  letter  which  he  prepared  for 
them,  and  intended  to  publish.  "  God,"  said  he,  "  has  laid  a 
heavy  hand  on  the  clergy:  they  must  fall:  nothing  can  save 
them."  5  But  the  war  of  the  peasants  having  terminated  much 
more  speedily  than  had  been  imagined,  the  cardinal  kept  his  tem 
poral  possessions ;  his  fears  were  dissipated,  and  he  renounced  the 
project  of  secularisation. 

1  Es  1st  das  Heyl  uns  kommen  her. 

-  Dankte  Gott  mit  Freuden.     (Seek.  p.  <JG8.)  3  Sleidan,  Hist,  of  the  Ref.  p.  220. 

*  Seckend.  p.  712.  5  Er  muss  heruuter.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  674.) 


While  John  of  Saxony,  Philip  of  Hesse,  and  Albert  of  Prussia 
openly  professed  the  Reformation,  and  thus  the  place  of  pru 
dent  Frederick  was  supplied  by  three  princes  of  resolution  and 
courage,  the  holy  work  made  progress  in  the  Church  and  among 
the  nations.  Luther  solicited  the  Elector  to  establish  the  evan 
gelical  ministry  throughout  his  States  instead  of  the  priesthood  of 
Rome,  and  to  appoint  a  general  visitation  of  the  churches.1  About 
the  same  time  episcopal  powers  began  to  be  exercised,  and  ministers 
to  be  consecrated.  "  The  pope,  the  bishops,  the  monks,  and  the 
priests,  need  not  make  a  noise.  We  are  the  Church.  There  is  no 
other  Church  than  the  assembly  of  those  who  have  the  Word  of 
God,  and  are  purified  by  it."  2 

All  this  could  not  be  said  and  done  without  producing  a  power 
ful  re-action.  Rome  had  thought  the  Reformation  extinguished  in 
the  blood  of  the  rebellious  peasants,  but  every  where  its  flames 
re-appeared  brighter  and  fiercer.  She  resolved  to  make  a  new  effort. 
The  pope  and  the  emperor  wrote  threatening  letters,  the  one  from 
Rome,  the  other  from  Spain.  The  imperial  government  prepared 
to  replace  matters  on  the  ancient  footing,  and  it  was  seriously  pro 
posed  entirely  to  crush  the  Reformation  at  the  approaching  Diet. 

The  electoral  prince  of  Saxony  and  the  landgrave  alarmed,  met 
on  the  7th  November,  at  the  castle  of  Friedewalt,  and  agreed  that 
their  deputies  at  the  Diet  should  aet  on  a  common  understanding. 
Thus,  in  the  forest  of  Sullingen  were  formed  the  first  elements  of 
an  evangelical  alliance  opposed  to  the  leagues  of  Ratisbon  and 

The  Diet  was  opened,  on  the  llth  December,  at  Augsburg. 
The  evangelical  princes  did  not  attend  in  person.  The  deputies 
of  Saxony  and  Hesse  spoke  out  boldly  at  the  outset.  "  The  revolt 
of  the  peasants,"  said  they,  "was  occasioned  by  imprudent  severity. 
Neither  by  fire  nor  sword  can  the  truth  of  God  be  plucked  out  of 
nien's  hearts.  If  you  resolve  on  employing  violence  against  the 
Reformation,  the  result  will  be  more  dreadful  evils  than  those 
which  you  have  just  with  difficulty  escaped." 

It  was  felt  that  the  resolution  which  should  be  taken  could  not 
fail  to  be  of  immense  importance.  Every  one  was  desirous  to  put 
off  the  decisive  moment  in  order  to  gain  additional  strength.  It 
was,  therefore,  resolved  to  meet  again  at  Spires  in  May  following. 
The  rescript  of  Nuremberg  was  meantime  to  continue  in  force. 
"  Then,"  said  they,  "  we  will  thoroughly  decide  the  points  of  holy 
faith,  righteousness,  and  peace." 

The  landgrave  prosecuted  his  design.     In  the  end  of  February, 

1  L.  Ep.  iii,  p.  28,  38,  51,  etc.  2  Dass  Kirche  sey  allein  diejenige,  so  Gottes 

Wort  haben  und  dainit  gereiniget  werden.    (Corp.  Ref.  i,  p.  766.) 


1526,  he  had  a  conference  with  the  Elector  at  Gotha.  The  two 
princes  agreed  that  if  they  were  attacked  on  account  of  the  Word 
of  God,  they  would  unite  their  whole  forces  to  resist  their  adver 
saries.  This  alliance  was  ratified  at  Torgau.  It  was  to  have  im 
portant  results. 

The  landgrave  did  not  think  the  alliance  of  Torgau  sufficient. 
Convinced  that  Charles  V  was  seeking  to  form  a  league  "  against 
Christ  and  his  holy  Word,"  he  wrote  letter  after  letter  to  the 
Elector  representing  the  necessity  of  uniting  with  other  states. 
u  For  myself,"  said  he,  "  I  would  die,  and  be  chased  from  my 
throne,  sooner  than  abjure  the  Word  of  God."  L 

At  the  electoral  court  there  was  great  uncertainty.  In  fact,  there 
was  a  serious  obstacle  to  the  union  of  the  evangelical  princes.  This 
obstacle  was  in  Luther  and  Melancthon.  Luther  wished  that  the 
evangelical  doctrine  should  be  defended  by  God  alone.  He  thought 
that  the  less  men  interfered  with  it,  the  more  manifest  the  inter 
position  of  God  would  appear.  All  the  measures  proposed  to  be 
taken  seemed  to  him  attributable  to  cowardly  timidity  and  culp 
able  distrust.  Melancthon  feared  that  the  alliance  of  the  evan 
gelical  princes  was  the  very  thing  to  bring  on  the  war  which  it 
was  wished  to  avoid. 

The  landgrave  did  not  allow  himself  to  be  arrested  by  these  con 
siderations,  and  endeavoured  to  induce  the  states  around  him  t« 
join  the  alliance,  but  his  efforts  were  not  crowned  with  success. 
Frankfort  refused  to  become  a  party  to  it.  The  Elector  of  Treves 
withdrew  his  opposition,  and  accepted  of  a  pension  from  the  em 
peror.  The  Elector  Palatine  himself,  whose  evangelical  leanings 
were  well  known,  rejected  the  propositions  of  Philip. 

The  landgrave  thus  failed  in  the  direction  of  the  Rhine,  but  the 
Elector,  notwithstanding  of  the  advice  of  the  theologians  of  the 
Reformation,  entered  into  negotiation  with  the  princes  who  had  at 
all  times  rallied  round  the  throne  of  Saxony.  On  the  12th  June, 
the  Elector  and  his  son,  the  Dukes  Philip,  Ernest,  Otho,  and  Francis 
of  Brunswick  and  Luneburg,  Duke  Henry  of  Mecklenburg,  Prince 
Wolf  of  Anhalt,  Counts  Albert  and  Gebhard  of  Mansfeld,  met  at 
Magdeburg,  and  there,  under  the  precedency  of  the  Elector,  formed 
an  alliance  similar  to  that  of  Torgau. 

"  God  Almighty,"  said  these  princes,  "  having  in  his  ineffable 
mercy  caused  his  holy  and  eternal  Word,  the  food  of  our  souls  and 
our  greatest  treasure  here  below,  to  appear  again  amongst  men ; 
and  powerful  manoeuvres  having  been  employed  on  the  part  of  the 
clergy  and  their  adherents,  to  annihilate  and  extirpate  it,  we  being 
firmly  assured  that  He  who  has  sent  it  to  glorify  his  name  upon 

i  Seek.  p.  768. 


the  earth,  is  able  also  to  maintain  it,  engage  to  preserve  this  holy 
Word  to  our  people,  and  for  this  end  to  employ  our  goods,  our 
lives,  our  states,  our  subjects,  all  that  we  possess — confiding  not 
in  our  armies,  but  solely  in  the  omnipotence  of  the  Lord,  whose 
instruments  we  desire  to  be."  *  So  spoke  the  princes. 

The  town  of  Magdeburg  was  two  days  after  received  into  the 
alliance,  and  the  new  Duke  of  Prussia,  Albert,  Duke  of  Branden 
burg,  gave  in  his  adherence  to  it  in  a  special  form. 

The  evangelical  alliance  was  formed,  but  the  dangers  which  it 
was  intended  to  avert  became  every  day  more  alarming.  The 
priests  and  princes  friendly  to  Rome  had  seen  this  Reformation 
which  they  thought  completely  strangled,  suddenly  rise  up  before 
them  in  a  formidable  shape.  The  partisans  of  the  Reformation 
were  already  almost  as  powerful  as  those  of  the  pope.  If  they  have 
the  majority  in  the*  Diet,  it  is  easy  to  divine  what  the  ecclesiasti 
cal  states  have  to  expect.  Now  then  or  never !  The  question  is 
no  longer  merely  the  refutation  of  a  heresy;  a  powerful  party  must 
be  combated.  Other  victories  than  those  of  Dr.  Eck  must  now 
save  Christendom. 

Decisive  measures  had  already  been  taken.  The  metropolitan 
chapter  of  the  primary  church  of  Mentz  had  convened  a  meeting 
of  all  its  suffragans,  and  decided  on  sending  a  deputation  to  the 
emperor  and  the  pope,  to  ask  them  to  save  the  Church. 

At  the  same  time  Duke  George  of  Saxony,  Duke  Henry  of 
Brunswick,  and  the  Cardinal-Elector  Albert,  had  met  at  Halle,  and 
had  also  resolved  to  address  Charles  Y.  "  The  detestable  doctrine 
of  Luther,"  said  they,  "  makes  rapid  progress.  Every  day  attempts 
are  made  to  gain  even  us,  and  when  gentle  means  fail,  attempts 
are  made  to  compel  us  by  stirring  up  our  subjects.  We  invoke  the 
assistance  of  the  emperor."  2  Accordingly,  after  the  conference, 
Brunswick  himself  set  out  for  Spain  to  decide  Charles. 

He  could  not  have  arrived  at  a  more  favourable  moment.  The 
emperor  had  just  concluded  with  Francis  the  famous  treaty  of 
Madrid ;  and  as  he  seemed  to  have  nothing  to  fear  in  that  quarter, 
his  eyes  were  now  turned  wholly  to  Germany.  Francis  I  had 
offered  to  pay  half  the  expenses  of  the  war,  whether  against  the 
heretics  or  against  the  Turks. 

The  emperor  was  at  Seville,  on  the  eve  of  marriage  with  a  princess 
of  Portugal,  and  the  banks  of  the  Guadalquiver  were  re-echoing 
with  the  sound  of  festivities.  A  brilliant  nobility,  and  immense 
crowds  of  people  thronged  the  ancient  capital  of  the  Moors.  Under 
the  arches  of  the  magnificent  cathedral  was  displayed  all  the 

1  Allein  auf  Gott  den  Allmachtigen,  als  dessen  Werkzeuge  sie  handeln.  (Hortleber 
Ursache  des  deutschen  Krieges,  i,  p.  1490.)  a  Schmidt,  Deutsche  Gesch,  vui,  p.  202. 


pomp  of  the  Church.  A  papal  legate  officiated,  and  never,  even 
in  the  days  of  the  Arabs,  had  Andalusia  seen  a  more  splendid  and 
imposing  ceremony. 

This  was  the  time  when  Henry  of  Brunswick  arrived  from  Ger 
many,  and  besought  Charles  V  to  save  the  Church  and  the  empire, 
which  were  now  attacked  by  the  monk  of  Wittenaberg.  His  re 
quest  was  immediately  taken  into  consideration,  and  the  emperor 
determined  on  decisive  measures. 

On  the  25th  March,  1526,  he  wrote  to  several  of  the  princes  and 
towns  which  adhered  to  Home,  and  at  the  same  time  gave  the 
Duke  of  Brunswick  a  special  commission,  to  say  to  them,  that  with 
deep  grief  he  had  learned  that  the  continual  progress  of  Luther's 
heresy  was  threatening  to  fill  Germany  with  sacrilege,  devastation, 
and  blood — that,  on  the  other  hand,  he  had  extreme  pleasure  in 
seeing  the  fidelity  of  the  great  majority  of  the  States — that,  ne 
glecting  every  other  affair,  he  was  going  to  quit  Spain  and  repair 
•to  Rome  to  make  arrangements  with  the  pope,  and  thenceforth  re 
turn  to  Germany,  to  combat  the  detestable  pest  of  Wittemberg ; 
that  as  to  themselves  they  ought  to  adhere  stedfastly  to  their  faith ; 
and  if  the  Lutherans  sought  to  draw  them  into  error  by  stratagem 
or  force,  they  should  enter  into  close  union  with  each  other,  and 
resist  boldly ;  that  he  would  shortly  arrive  and  support  them  with 
all  his  authority.1 

On  the  return  of  Brunswick  to  Germany,  the  Catholic  party 
were  overjoyed,  and  proudly  lifted  their  heads.  The  Dukes  of 
Brunswick,  and  Pomerania,  Albert  of  Mecklenburg,  John  of  Juliers, 
George  of  Saxony,  the  Dukes  of  Bavaria,  and  all  the  ecclesiastical 
princes  thought  themselves  sure  of  victory  after  they  read  the 
threatening  letters  of  the  conqueror  of  Francis  I.  They  would  re 
pair  to  the  approaching  Diet,  they  would  humble  the  heretical 
princes,  and,  if  they  did  not  otherwise  submit,  would  compel  them 
by  the  sword.  Duke  George  is  confidently  affirmed  to  have  said, 
"  I  may  be  Elector  of  Saxony  whenever  I  please;  "  2  an  expres 
sion  to  which  it 'was  afterwards  attempted  to  give  a  different  turn. 
One  day  the  duke's  chancellor  said  at  Torgau  with  an  air  of  tri 
umph,2  "  Luther's  cause  cannot  hold  out  long,  it  had  better  be 
looked  to." 

Lulher,  in  fact,  did  look  to  it,  but  not  in  the  sense  thus  implied; 
he  attentively  followed  the  designs  of  the  enemies  of  the  Word  of 
God,  and  thought,  as  well  as  Melancthon,  that  he  would  soon  see 
thousands  of  swords  drawn  against  the  gospel.  But  he  sought  his 
strength  in  a  higher  source  than  man.  "  Satan,"  wrote  he  to  Fre- 

1  Archives  of  Weimar.  2  Ranke,  Deutsch  Gescb,  ii,  p.  349.  Rommel  Urkunden 



derick  Myconius,  "  is  giving  full  vent  to  his  fury ;  wicked  pontiffs 
are  conspiring  and  threatening  us  with  war.  Exhort  the  people 
to  fight  valiantly  before  the  throne  of  God  by  faith  and  prayer,  so 
that  our  enemies,  being  overcome  by  the  Spirit  of  God,  may  be 
compelled  to  make  peace.  The  first  want,  the  first  work  is  prayer; 
let  the  people  know  that  they  are  now  exposed  to  the  edge  of  the 
sword  and  the  fury  of  the  devil,  and  let  them  pray."  1 

Thus,  every  preparation  was  made  for  a  decisive  combat.  The 
Reformation  had  on  its  side  the  prayers  of  Christians,  the  sym 
pathies  of  the  people,  and  the  rising  influence  of  mind  which  no 
power  could  arrest.  The  papacy  had  in  its  favour  the  ancient 
order  of  things,  the  power  of  ancient  custom,  the  zeal  and  hatred 
of  formidable  princes,  and  the  power  of  that  great  emperor  whose 
dominion  extended  over  two  worlds,  and  who  had  just  given  so 
rude  a  check  to  the  glory  of  Francis  I. 

Such  was  the  posture  of  aifairs  at  the  opening  of  the  Diet  at 
Spires.  At  present  we  return  to  Switzerland. 

1  Ut  in  rrediis  giadiis  ct  furoribus  Satama  poaito  et  periclitanti.    (L.  Ep.  iii, 


CHAP.  I. 

Unity  in  Diversity— Primitive   Faith  and  Liberty— Formation  of  Roman  Unity— 
A  Monk  and  Leo  Juda— Theses  of  Zuinglius— The  discussion  of  January. 

WE  are  going  to  see  the  diversities,  or,  as  they  have  been  called,  the 
variations  of  the  Eeformation.  These  form  one  of  its  most  essential 

Unity  in  diversity,  and  diversity  in  unity,  is  the  law  of  nature, 
and  also  the  law  of  the  Church. 

Truth  is  like  the  light  of  the  sun.  The  light,  as  it  descends  from 
heaven,  is  always  one  and  the  same,  and  yet  it  assumes  different 
colours  on  the  earth,  according  to  the  objects  on  which  it  falls.  In 
the  same  manner,  expressions,  which  differ  somewhat  from  each 
other,  may  sometimes  express  the  same  Christian  idea,  con 
templated  under  different  points  of  view. 

How  dull  should  creation  be,  were  this  immense  variety  of  forms 
and  colours  which  constitute  its  riches,  replaced  by  an  absolute 
uniformity !  In  like  manner,  how  desolate  the  appearance,  if  all 
created  beings  formed  only  a  single  magnificent  unity. 

Divine  unity  has  its  rights ;  human  diversity  has  its  rights  also.  It 
is  not  necessary  in  religion  to  annihilate  either  God  or  man.  If  you 
have  no  unity,  your  religion  is  not  of  God ;  if  you  have  no  diversity, 
it  is  not  of  man.  Now,  it  ought  to  be  of  both.  Would  you  erase 
from  the  creation  one  of  the  laws  which  God  has  imposed  upon  it, 
viz.,  that  of  an  immense  diversity?  "Even  things  without  life" 
says  St.  Paul,  "  whether  pipe  or  harp,  except  they  give  a  distinction 
in  the  sounds,  how  shall  it  be  known  what  is  piped  or  harped?" 
1  Cor.  xiv,  7.  But  if  there  is  in  religious  things  a  diversity,  caused 
by  the  difference  of  individuality,  and  which,  consequently,  must 
exist  even  in  heaven,  a  diversity  there  is  which  has  been  caused  by 
the  fall  of  man,  and  is  a  serious  calamity. 


There  are  two  tendencies  which  equally  lead  to  error.  The 
former  exaggerates  the  diversity,  and  the  latter  the  unity.  The 
doctrines  essential  to  salvation  form  the  boundary  between  these 
two  directions.  To  exact  more  than  these  doctrines  is  to  infringe 
on  the  diversity — to  exact  less  is  to  infringe  on  the  unity. 

The  latter  excess  is  that  of  rash  and  rebellious  spirits,  who  turn 
away  from  Jesus  Christ  to  form  human  systems  and  doctrines. 

The  former  exists  in  various  exclusive  sects,  and,  in  particular, 
in  that  of  Eome. 

The  Church  should  reject  error.  Did  she  not  do  so  Christianity 
could  not  be  maintained.  But,  were  we  to  push  this  idea  to  an 
extreme,  the  result  would  be,  that  the  Church  would  require  to 
oppose  the  smallest  deviation,  and  involve  herself  in  disputes 
about  words.  Faith  would  be  swaddled,  and  Christian  sentiment 
brought  into  bondag'e.  Such  was  not  the  condition  of  the  Church 
in  the  days  of  true  Catholicism — I  mean  the  first  centuries.  It 
rejected  the  sectaries  who  assailed  the  fundamental  truths  of  the 
gospel;  but  these  truths  admitted,  it  left  faith  at  full  liberty. 
Home  soon  abandoned  these  wise  limits,  and  in  proportion  as  a 
domination  and  doctrine  of  man  was  formed  in  the  Church  there 
arose  also  a  unity  of  man. 

A  human  system  being  once  invented,  its  rigour  increased 
from  age  to  age.  Christian  liberty,  which  had  been  respected  by 
the  Catholicism  of  the  first  ages,  was  first  limited,  then  chained, 
then  stifled.  Conviction,  which,  according  to  the  laws  of  human 
nature  and  the  Word  of  God,  ought  to  be  formed  freely  in  the 
heart  and  the  understanding  of  man,  was  imposed  externally  as 
fully  formed  and  symmetrically  arranged  by  his  masters.  Eeflec- 
tion,  will,  sentiment,  all  the  faculties  of  the  human  mind,  which, 
in  due  subordination  to  the  Word  and  the  Spirit  of  God,  ought  to 
labour  and  produce  freely,  were  abridged  in  their  liberty,  and  com 
pelled  to  expand  in  forms  previously  determined.  The  spirit  of 
man  became  like  a  mirror,  on  which  foreign  objects  are  represented, 
but  which  possesses  nothing  of  its  own.  Doubtless  there  still  were 
souls  taught  directly  by  God.  But  the  great  majority  of  Christians 
had  thenceforth  only  the  convictions  of  others :  a  faith  properly 
belonging  to  the  individual  became  a  rarity.  The  Reformation 
alone  restored  this  treasure  to  the  Church. 

Still  there  was  for  sometime  a  space,  within  which  the  human 
mind  was  allowed  to  range,  certain  opinions  which  it  might  admit 
or  reject  at  pleasure.  But,  as  a  besieging  army,  always  drawing 
closer  and  closer  around  the  town,  does  not  allow  the  garrison  to 
stir  beyond  the  precincts  of  the  walls,  and  at  length  obliges  it  to  sur 
render,  in  the  same  way  was  the  hierarchy  seen,  in  every  age,  and 


almost  every  year,  abridging  the  space  which  it  had  granted  pro 
visionally  to  the  human  mind,  until,  at  length,  the  space  was  en 
tirely  encroached  upon,  and  ceased  to  exist.  Everything  that  was 
to  be  believed,  loved,  or  done,  was  regulated  and  fixed  in  the 
bureaus  of  the  Roman  chancery.  The  faithful  were  relieved  from 
the  trouble  of  examining,  thinking,  and  wrestling;  they  had  only 
to  repeat  the  formula  which  they  had  been  taught. 

From  that'  time,  if  there  appeared  in  the  bosom  of  Roman 
Catholicism  any  man  who  inherited  the  Catholicism  of  the  apos 
tolic  times,  that  man,  incapable  of  expanding  within  the  limits 
to  which  he  had  been  confined,  behoved  to  overleap  them,  and 
show  anew  to  the  astonished  world  the  lofty  flight  of  the  Christian 
who  acknowledges  no  law  save  that  of  God. 

The  Reformation,  then,  in  restoring  liberty  to  the  Church,  be 
hoved  to  restore  to  her  her  original  diversity,  and  people  her  with 
families,  united  by  the  great  features  of  resemblance  which  they 
derive  from  their  common  head,  but  differing  in  secondary 
features  and  bespeaking  the  inherent  varieties  of  human  nature. 
It  were,  perhaps,  to  be  desired  that  this  diversity  could  subsist 
in  the  universal  Church  without  producing  sects.  Still,  it  ought 
to  be  remembered,  that  sects  are  only  the  expression  of  this 

Switzerland  and  Germany,  which,  till  now,  had  been  developed 
independently  of  each  other,  came  into  contact  at  the  period,  the 
history  of  which  we  are  now  to  trace,  and  exemplified  this  diversity 
which  was  to  become  one  of  the  characteristic  features  of  Protest 
antism.  We  shall  see  men  perfectly  agreed  on  all  the  great  points 
of  faith,  differing,  however,  on  secondary  questions.  No  doubt, 
passion  mingled  in  these  discussions ;  but  while  deploring  this  sad 
mixture,  Protestantism,  far  from  disguising  the  diversity,  acknow 
ledges  and  proclaims  it.  The  path  by  which  she  leads  to  unity  is 
long  and  difficult,  but  her  unity  is  real. 

Zuinglius  was  making  progress  in  the  Christian  life.  While  the 
gospel  had  delivered  Luther  from  the  profound  melancholy  to  which 
he  had  formerly  abandoned  himself  in  the  convent  of  Erfurth,  and 
given  him  a  serenity  which  often  assumed  the  form  of  joyfulness, 
and  of  which  the  Reformer  thenceforth  gave  numerous  proofs,  even 
in  face  of  the  greatest  dangers,  Christianity  had  had  quite  a  contrary 
effect  on  the  joyous  child  of  the  mountains  of  Tockenburg.  With 
drawing  Zuinglius  from  his  volatile  and  worldly  life,  it  impressed 
a  gravity  on  his  character  that  was  not  natural  to  it.  This  serious 
turn  was  very  necessary.  We  have  seen  how,  towards  the  end 
of  1522,  numerous  enemies  seemed  to  rise  up  against  the  Reform  - 


ation.1    Zuinglius  was  every  where  loaded  with  invectives,  and 
disputes  often  took  place,  even  in  churches. 

Leo  Juda,  small  in  stature,2  says  a  biographer,  but  full  of 
charity  for  the  poor,  and  of  zeal  against  false  teachers,  had  arrived 
at  Zurich  towards  the  end  of  1522,  to  discharge  the  office  of  pastor 
of  the  church  of  St.  Peter,  having  been  succeeded  at  Einsidlen  by 
Oswald  Myconius.3  He  was  a  valuable  acquisition  to  Zuinglius 
and  the  Reformation. 

One  day,  shortly  after  his  arrival,  he  heard  an  Augustin  monk, 
in  the  church  to  which  he  had  been  called  to  be  pastor,  vehemently 
preaching,  that  man  is  able  of  himself  to  satisfy  the  justice  of 
God.  "  Reverend  father  prior,"  exclaimed  Leo,  "  listen  for  an 
instant,  and  you,  dear  citizens,  keep  quiet ;  I  will  speak  as  becomes 
a  Christian."  He  ^hen  proved  to  the  people  the  unsoundness  of 
the  doctrine  which  they  had  just  heard.4  There  was  great  agitation 
in  the  church,  and  several  forthwith  angrily  assailed  the  "  little 
priest,"  who  had  come  from  Einsidlen.  Zuinglius  appeared  before 
the  great  council;  desiring  to  give  an  account  of  his  doctrine  in 
presence  of  the  deputies  of  the  bishop,  and  the  council  in  their  de 
sire  to  see  an  end  put  to  these  dissensions,  summoned  a  conference 
for  the  29th  January,  1523.  The  news  quickly  spread  over 
Switzerland.  "  There  is  going  to  be  a  diet  of  vagabonds  at 
Zurich,"  said  the  adversaries  spitefully — "  all  the  footpads  will 
be  there." 

Zuinglius,  preparatory  to  the  contest,  published  sixty-seven 
theses.  Openly  in  the  eyes  of  all  Switzerland,  the  mountaineer  of 
Tockenburg  boldly  attacked  the  pope. 

"  All,"  said  he,  "  who  maintain  that  the  gospel  is  nothing  with 
out  the  confirmation  of  the  Church,  blaspheme  God. 

"  The  only  way  of  salvation  to  all  men  who  have  been,  are,  or 
are  to  be,  is  Jesus  Christ. 

"  All  Christians  are  the  brethren  of  Christ,  and  brethren  of  each 
other,  and  they  have  no  fathers  on  the  earth ;  thus,  orders,  sects, 
and  parties  fall. 

"  No  constraint  should  be  laid  on  those  who  do  not  acknow-  v 
ledge  their  error,  provided  they  do  not,  by  seditious  conduct,  dis 
turb  the  peace." 

Such  were  some  of  the  theses  of  Zuinglius. 

On  the  morning  of  Thursday  the  29th  of  January,  more  than  six 
hundred  persons  met  in  the  hall  of  the  great  council  at  Zurich. 

i  Vol.  II,  Book  viij.  2  Er  war  ein  kurzer  Mann.    (Fusslin  Beytrage,  iv,  p.  44.) 

sUtpost  abitum  Leonis,  monachls  aliquid  legam.     (Zw.  Ep.  p.  253.)     That  after 

Leo's  departure  I  may  read  to  the  monks.  *  J.  J.  Hottinger,  Helv .  Kirch. 

Gesch.  iii,  p.  105. 


Citizens  and  strangers,  learned  men,  persons  of  distinction,  and 
ecclesiastics,  had  responded  to  the  call  of  the  council.  "  What,"  it 
was  asked,  "  is  to  be  the  result  of  all  this?  " 1  Nobody  dared  to 
answer;  but  the  attention,  excitement,  and  agitation  of  the 
assembly,  showed  plainly  that  great  things  were  expected. 

Burgomaster  Roust,  who  had  fought  at  Marignan,  presided. 
The  chevalier,  James  of  Anwyl,  grand  master  of  the  episcopal 
court  of  Constance,  Faber  the  vicar-general,  and  several  doctors, 
Represented  the  bishop.  Schaff  hausen  had  sent  Doctor  Sebastian 
Hofmeister ;  he  was  the  only  deputy  from  the  cantons  so  long  as 
the  Reformation  was  in  its  infancy  in  Switzerland.  On  a  table  in 
the  middle  of  the  hall  was  the  Bible,  and  beside  it  stood  a  teacher. 
This  was  Zuinglius.  "  I  am  agitated  and  tormented  on  all  sides,"  he 
had  said;  "  but  still  I  remain  firm,  leaning  not  on  my  own  strength, 
but  on  the  rock,  which  is  Christ,  through  whose  aid  I  can  do  all 
things." 2 

Zuinglius  arose.  "I  have  preached,"  said  he,  "that  salvation 
is  found  only  in  Jesus  Christ;  and  for  this  I  am  stigmatised 

throughout  Switzerland  as  a  heretic,  a  seducer,  a  rebel 

Now  then,  in  the  name  of  God,  here  I  am  to  answer."  3  .  .  .  . 

All  eyes  now  turned  towards  Faber,  who  rose  and  replied,  "  I 
was  not  sent  here  to  debate,  but  only  to  listen."  The  assembly, 
in  surprise,  began  to  laugh.  "  The  Diet  of  Nuremberg,"  continued 
Faber,  "has  promised  a  council  in  a  year;  we  should  wait 
for  it." 

"What!"  said  Zuinglius,  "is  not  this  great  and  learned  as 
sembly  as  good  as  a  council  ?  "  Then  addressing  the  counsellors, 
he  said,  "  Gracious  lords,  defend  the  Word  of  God." 

Profound  silence  followed  this  appeal ;  after  some  time  it  was 
broken  by  the  burgomaster.  "  If  any  one  has  any  thing  to  say," 
said  he,  "  let  him  do  so."  There  was  again  silence.  Zuinglius 
then  said,  "  I  implore  all  my  accusers  (and  I  know  there  are 
several  of  them  here)  to  come  forward,  and  for  the  love  of  truth, 
show  wherein  I  deserve  blame."  Nobody  said  a  word.  Zuinglius 
renewed  his  demand  a  second  and  third  time:  it  was  in  vain. 
Faber  being  close  pressed,  for  a  moment  forgot  the  reserve  which  he 
had  imposed  on  himself,  to  declare  that  the  pastor  of  Filispach,  who 
was  detained  in  prison,  had  been  convinced  by  him  of  his  error; 
but  he  immediately  became  reserved  as  before.  In  vain  was  he 
urged  to  explain  the  reasons  by  which  he  had  convinced  the  pastor. 
IJe  was  obstinately  silent.  The  spectators,  becoming  impatient  at 

i  Ein  grosses  Verwunderen,  was  doch  uss  der  Sach  werden  wollte.     (Bullinger, 
tirpn.  i,  p.  97.)  2  Immotus  tamen  nianeo,  non  meis  nervis  nixus,  sed  petra 

jftrato,  in  quo  omnia  possum.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  261.)  s  Nun  wohlan  in  dem  Nameu 

Gottes,  hie  bin  ich.    (Bullinger,  Chron.  p.  98.) 



the  silence  of  the  Roman  doctors,  a  voice  was  heard  from  the 
bottom  of  the  hall,  exclaiming,  "  Where  are  now  those  valiant 
men,1  who  speak  so  loud  in  the  streets?  Ho!  come  forward,  here 
is  your  man! "  Nobody  presented  himself.  Then  the  burgomaster 
said,  with  a  smile,  "  It  seems,  that  the  famous  sword  which  smote 
the  pastor  of  Filispach  is  not  to  come  out  of  its  scabbard  to-day." 
So  saying,  he  adjourned  the  meeting. 

In  the  afternoon,  when  the  assembly  again  met,  the  council  de 
clared,  that  Master  Ulric  Zuinglius,  not  having  been  censured  by 
any  one,  should  continue  to  preach  the  Holy  Gospel,  and  that  all 
the  other  priests  of  the  canton  should  teach  only  what  they  could 
establish  by  the  Holy  Scriptures. 

"  God  be  praised,"  exclaimed  Zuinglius,  "  who  is  pleased 
that  his  Holy  Wor^  should  reign  in  heaven  and  on  the  earth." 
Faber  could  not  now  restrain  his  indignation.  "  The  theses  of 
Master  Ulric,"  said  he,  "  are  contrary  to  the  honour  of  the  Church 
and  the  doctrine  of  Christ,  and  I  will  prove  it."  "  Do  so,"  ex 
claimed  Zuinglius.  But  Faber  refused  to  do  it  any  where  but  at 
Paris,  Cologne,  or  Friburg.  "  I  won't  have  any  other  judge  than 
the  gospel,"  said  Zuinglius  ;  "  sooner  will  the  earth  open  than  you 
succeed  in  shaking  a  single  word  contained  in  it."2  "The  gospel," 
said  Faber,  "  always  the  gospel !  .  .  .  .  We  could  live  holily  in 
peace  and  charity  even  though  there  were  no  gospel."  3 

At  these  words  the  audience  rose  up  in  indignation,  and  the 
discussion  closed. 

CHAP.  n. 

Caresses  of  the  Pope— Progress  of  the  Reformation— The  image  of  Stadelhofen— 
Sacrilege— The  Ornaments  of  the  Saints. 

The  Eeformation,  having  gained  the  day,  was  now  to  hasten  its 
conquests.  After  this  conflict  of  Zurich,  where  the  ablest  cham 
pions  of  the  papacy  had  remained  mute,  who  would  have  the 
courage  to  oppose  the  new  doctrine?  Meanwhile,  other  weapons 
were  tried.  The  firmness  of  Zuinglius,  and  his  republican  leanings, 
misled  his  enemies,  and  hence  special  methods  were  employed  for 
the  purpose  of  overcoming  him.  While  Borne  was  pursuing  Luther 

1  The  monks.    Wo  sind  nur  die  grosseri  Hansen    ....    (Zw.  Op.  i,  p.  124.) 

2  Ee  miiss  das  Erdrych  brechen.     (Zw.  Op.  i,  p.  148.)  3  Man  znocht  denocht 
fruntlich.  fridlich  und  tugendlich  1-iben,  wenn  glich  kein  Evangelium  were.    (Bull 
Chron.  p.  107.     Zw.  Op.  i,  p.  152.) 


with  her  anathemas,  she  endeavoured  to  gain  the  Reformer  of 
Zurich  by  gentle  methods.  Scarcely  had  the  discussion  closed, 
when  Zuinglius  was  visited  by  the  son  of  burgomaster  Roust,  the 
captain  of  the  pope's  guards,  accompanied  by  the  legate  Einsius, 
who  had  in  charge  for  him  a  pontifical  brief,  in  which  Adrian  VI 
called  Zuinglius  his  well-beloved  son,  and  acquainted  him  with 
"  his  very  particular  regard."  1  At  the  same  time,  the  pope  made 
Zink  be  pressed  to  gain  Zuinglius.  "  What,  then,  does  the  pope 
commission  you  to  offer?"  asked  Oswald  Myconius.  "Every 
thing,"  replied  Zirik,  "  except  the  pontifical  see."  2 

There  was  no  mitre  and  crozier,  no  cardinal's  hat  that  the  pope 
would  not  have  given  to  gain  the  Reformer  of  Zurich.  But  in 
regard  to  him  Rome  was  under  strange  illusions.  All  her  offers 
were  unavailing.  The  Romish  Church  had  a  more  inveterate,  enemy 
in  Zuinglius  than  in  Luther.  He  cared  less  than  Luther  did  for 
the  ideas  and  rites  of  former  ages.  To  provoke  his  attack  upon 
any  custom  innocent  in  itself,  it  was  enough  that  it  was  attached  to 
some  abuse.  The  Word  of  God,  he  thought,  was  alone  entitled 
to  stand. 

But  if  Rome  so  little  understood  what  was  taking  place  in  Chris 
tendom,  she  had  counsellors  who  tried  to  correct  her  mistake. 

Faber,  irritated  at  seeing  the  pope  thus  humbling  himself  before 
his  adversary,  hastened  to  enlighten  him.  A  courtier,  who  had 
always  a  smile  upon  his  lips  and  honied  words  in  his  mouth,  Faber 
was,  by  his  own  account,  the  friend  of  every  body,  even  of  those 
whom  he  was  accusing  of  heresy.  But  his  hatred  was  mortal. 
Hence,  the  Reformer,  playing  on  the  word  Faber  said,  "  The  vicar 
of  Constance  is  a  fabricator  ....  of  lies.  Let  him  openly  pro 
ceed  to  arms,  and  see  how  Christ  defends  us."  3 

These  words  were  not  a  vain  bravado ;  for  while  the  pope  was 
speaking  to  Zuinglius  of  his  eminent  virtues,  and  of  the  particular 
confidence  which  he  had  in  him,  the  enemies  of  the  Reformer  were 
multiplying  in  Switzerland.  Veteran  soldiers,  leading  families,  and 
mountain  shepherds,  were  uniting  in  their  hatred  against  this  doc 
trine,  which  was  at  variance  with  their  tastes.  At  Lucerne  a 
pompous  spectacle  was  announced  under  the  name  of  The  Passion 
of  Zuinglius.  A  dwarf,  meant  to  represent  the  Reformer,  was 
dragged  to  execution,  crying,  that  they  were  going  to  put  the 
heretic  to  death.  Laying  hold  of  some  Zurichers  who  were  at 
Lucerne,  they  obliged  them  to  be  spectators  of  this  ridiculous  exhi- 

1  Cum  de  tua  egregia  virtute  specialiter  nobis  sit  cognitum.    (Zvr.  Ep.  p.  U66.) 

2  Serio  respondit:   Omnia  certe  prseter  sedem  papalem.     (Vit.  Zwingli  per  Osw. 
Myc,)  s  Prodeant  volo.  palamque  arma  capiaut     .     .     .     .    (Zw.  Ep.  p. 
202.)          3 


bition.  "  They  will  not  disturb  my  peace,"  said Zuinglius.  "Christ 
will  never  be  wanting  to  his  people." l  The  Diet  itself  resounded 
with  menaces  against  him.  "  Dear  confederates,"  said  counsellor 
Mullinen  to  the  cantons,  "  oppose  the  Lutheran  cause  in  time, 

At  Zurich  a  man  is  no  longer  a  master  in  his  own 


This  agitation  of  the  adversary  announced  what  was  taking  place 
in  Zurich  still  better  than  any  proclamations  could  have  done.  In 
fact,  the  victory  was  yielding  its  proper  fruit ;  the  conquerors  gra 
dually  took  possession  of  the  country,  and  the  gospel  daily  made  new 
progress.  Twenty-four  canons,  and  a  great  number  of  chaplains, 
came,  of  their  own  accord  to  the  council,  to  demand  a  reform  of  their 
statutes.  It  was  resolved  to  supply  the  place  of  these  idle  priests 
by  pious  and  learned  men,  commissioned  to  give  the  youth  of 
Zurich  a  Christian  and  liberal  education,  and  to  establish,  instead 
of  their  Latin  vespers  and  masses,  a  daily  exposition  of  a  chapter 
of  the  Bible  according  to  the  Hebrew  and  Greek  text,  first  for  the 
learned,  and  then  immediately  after  for  the  people. 

All  armies  unfortunately  contain  blundering  recruits,  who  detach 
themselves  from  the  main  body,  and  prematurely  attack  some  point 
which  ought  for  the  time  to  have  been  left  untouched.  A  young 
priest,  named  Louis  Ketzcr,  having  published  in  Germany  a  treatise, 
entitled  "The  Judgment  of  God  against  Images"  a  strong  impression 
was  produced,  and  images  became  the  constant  dislike  of  a  portion 
of  the  population.  When  a  man  allows  his  attention  to  be 
engrossed  by  secondary  matters,  it  is  always  to  the  detriment  of 
more  essential  matters.  A  crucifix  carefully  sculptured  and  richly 
adorned  had  been  placed  on  the  outside  of  one  of  the  gates  of  the 
town,  at  the  place  called  Stadelhofen.  The  most  ardent  partisans 
of  the  Keformation  shocked  at  the  superstition  to  which  this  image 
gave  occasion,  were  unable  to  pass  it  without  expressing  their  in 
dignation.  A  citizen  named  Claud  Hottinger,  u  a  worthy  man," 
says  Bullinger,  "  and  well  read  in  the  Scriptures,"  having  met  the 
miller  of  Stadelhofen,  to  whom  the  crucifix  belonged,  asked  when 
he  meant  to  pull  down  his  idols.  "  Nobody  obliges  you  to  worship 
them,"  replied  the  miller.  "But  do  you  not  know,"  resumed 
Hottinger,  "  that  the  Word  of  God  forbids  us  to  have  graven 
images  V  "  "  Very  well,"  replied  the  miller,  "  if  you  are  authorised 
to  pull  them  down,  I  abandon  them  to  you."  Hottinger  thought 
himself  entitled  to  act,  and  shortly  after,  about  the  end  of  Septem 
ber,  he  set  forth  from  the  town  with  a  number  of  citizens.  On 
arriving  at  the  crucifix,  they  quietly  dug  all  around  it  until  the 

i  Christum  suis  nur.qnam  dafuturam.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  278J 


image  yielded  to  their  efforts,  and  fell  to  the  ground  with  a  loud 

This  bold  action  spread  general  alarm ;  one  would  have  said  that 
with  the  crucifix  of  Stadelhofen,  religion  itself  had  been  overthrown. 
"  These  men  are  blasphemers  !  They  are  worthy  of  death ! "  ex 
claimed  the  friends  of  Borne.  The  council  caused  the  iconoclast 
burghers  to  be  apprehended. 

"No:"  said  Zuinglius  and  his  colleagues  from  the  pulpit, 
u  Hottinger  and  his  friends  are  not  guilty  before  God  or  worthy 
of  death.1  But  they  may  be  punished  for  having  acted  with  vio 
lence,  and  without  the  authority  of  the  magistrates."  2 

Meanwhile  similar  acts  were  repeated.  One  day  a  vicar,  of  the 
church  of  St.  Peter,  seeing  a  number  of  poor  people  before  the 
church  without  food  and  clothing,  said  to  one  of  his  colleagues, 
turning  towards  some  of  the  pompously  decked  images,  "  I  would 
willingly  strip  these  wooden  idols  in  order  to  clothe  these  poor 
members  of  Jesus  Christ."  A  few  days  after,  at  three  in  the 
morning,  the  saints,  and  all  their  ornaments,  disappeared.  The 
council  ordered  the  vicar  to  be  imprisoned,  though  he  declared  that 
he  was  not  the  guilty  party.  "What!"  said  the  people,  "was  it 
bits  of  wood  our  Saviour  ordered  us  to  clothe  ?  Is  it  on  account  of 
these  images  he  will  say  to  us,  '•I  was  naked,  and  ye  clothed  me?1" 
Thus,  the  Beformation,  when  discountenanced,  became  only  the 
more  powerful.  The  more  it  was  curbed  the  more  violently  it 
sprang  forward,  threatening  to  bear  down  its  opposition. 


The  October  Discussion — Zuinglius  on  the  Church — The  Church — First  Outline 
of  Presbyterianism — Discussion  on  the  Mass — Enthusiasts — A  Voice  of  Wisdom — 
Victory— A  characteristic  of  the  Swiss  Reformation— Moderation— Oswald  My- 
conius  at  Zurich— The  Revival  of  Letters— Thomas  Plater  of  the  Valois. 

Even  these  excesses  were  to  prove  salutary,  A  new  combat 
was  necessary  in  order  to  secure  new  triumphs  ;  for  it  is  equally 
true  in  mental  as  in  worldly  affairs — that  there  is  no  conquest 
without  a  struggle.  Since  the  soldiers  of  Borne  remained  motion 
less,  the  combat  was  to  be  provoked  by  rash  sons  of  the  Beforma- 
ion.  In  fact,  the  magistrates  were  uncertain  and  at  a  loss  how  to  act. 
ley  felt  that  their  conscience  required  to  be  enlightened ;  and, 

1  An  exposition  of  the  same  principles  may  be  seen  in  the  speeches  of  Messieurs  DC 
"iroglie  and  Royer-Collard,  in  the  famo  is  debates  on  the  law  of  sacrilege. 

2  Dorum  habendirunser  Herren  kein  racht  zuinen,  sy  zutoden.  (Bull.  Chr.,p.l27.) 


with  this  view,  they  resolved  to  institute  a  second  public  discus 
sion  in  German,  when  the  question  of  images  should  be  tried  by 

The  Bishops  of  Coire,  Constance,  and  Bale,  the  university  of  Bale, 
and  the  twelve  cantons,  were  in  consequence  invited  to  send  deputies 
to  Zurich.  The  bishops  refused  the  invitation.  Kemembering  the 
sad  figure  their  deputies  had  made  at  the  previous  discussion,  they 
had  no  wish  to  renew  these  humiliating  scenes.  Let  the  evangelicals 
dispute  if  they  will ;  but  leave  them  to  do  it  by  themselves.  The 
first  time  we  were  silent — the  second  we  wont  even  appear.  Home, 
perhaps,  imagined  that  there  would  be  no  combat  from  want  of  com 
batants.  The  bishops  were  not  singular  in  refusing  to  come.  The 
men  of  Underwalden  replied  that  they  had  no  learned  men  among 
them,  but  merely  honest  and  pious  priests,  who  explained  the 
gospel  as  their  fathers  had  done,  and  therefore  they  would  not  send 
any  deputy  to  Zuinglius,  "  and  the  like  of  him  ;"  but  that,  if  they 
had  him  in  their  clutches,  they  would  handle  him  in  a  way  which 
would  leave  him  no  desire  to  repeat  the  same  faults.1  Schaff- 
hausen  and  St.  Gall  alone  sent  representatives. 

On  Monday,  26th  October,  after  sermon,  an  assembly  of  more 
than  nine  hundred  persons,  consisting  of  members  of  the  Grand 
Council,  and  three  hundred  and  fifty  priests,  filled  the  large  hall 
of  the  town-house.  Zuinglius  and  Leo  Juda  were  seated  at  a  table 
on  which  lay  the  Old  and  New  Testament  in  the  original  tongues. 
Zuinglius  first  spoke,  and,  demolishing  the  authority  of  the  hie 
rarchy  and  its  councils  with  a  vigorous  arm,  established  the  rights 
of  every  Christian  church,  and  claimed  the  liberty  of  the  primi 
tive  ages — of  those  times  when  the  Church  had  neither  oecumenical 
nor  provincial  councils.  "The  Church  universal,"  said  he,  "is 
diffused  over  the  whole  world,  wherever  there  is  faith  in  Jesus 
Christ,  in  the  Indies  as  well  as  at  Zurich And,  as  to  par 
ticular  churches,  we  have  them  at  Berne,  at  Schaffhausen — here 
also.  But  the  popes,  their  cardinals,  and  their  councils,  are  neither 
the  Church  universal  nor  the  Church  particular.2  This  assembly 
which  I  now  address,"  he  continued  energetically,  "is  the  church  of 
Zurich ;  it  desires  to  hear  the  Word  of  God,  and  it  is  entitled  to 
enjoin  whatever  it  deems  conformable  to  the  Holy  Scriptures." 

Thus  Zuinglius  leant  upon  the  Church — but  the  true  Church ; 
not  on  priests  only,  but  on  the  congregation  of  Christians — on 
the  people.  All  that  Scripture  says  of  the  Church  in  general,  he 
applied  to  particular  churches.  He  did  not  think  that  a  church 

1  So  wollten  wir  Ihm  den  Lohn  geben,  dass  er's  nimmer  mehr  tha'te.  (Simmler 
Bamrnl.,  M.S.,  ix.)  2  Der  Pabste,  Cardinale  und  Bischbffe  Concilia  sind  nicht 

die  Christliche  Kirche.    (FUssl.  Beytr.,  iii,  p.  20.)  » 


listening  with  docility  to  the  Word  of  God,  could  be  deceived.  The 
Church  he  regarded  as  politically  and  ecclesiastically  represented 
by  the  Great  Council.1  He  at  first  discussed  each  question  in  the 
pulpit,  and  then,  after  men's  minds  were  convinced  of  the  truth,  he 
laid  the  matter  before  the  Great  Council,  who,  being  agreed  with 
the  ministers  of  the  Church,  adopted  the  decisions  which  she  ap 

In  the  absence  of  deputies  from  the  bishop,  the  defence  of  the 
pope  was  undertaken  by  the  old  canon,  Conrad  Hoffman,  who  had 
been  the  means  of  calling  Zuinglins  to  Zurich.  He  maintained  that 
the  Church,  the  flock,  "  the  third  estate,"  had  no  right  to  discuss 
such  matters.  "  I  was  thirteen  years  at  Heidelberg,"  said  he,  "  I 
lived  with  a  great  scholar,  called  Doctor  Joss,  a  worthy  pious  man, 
with  whom,  for  a  long  time,  I  ate  and  drank,  and  lived  on  familiar 
terms  ;  but  he  always  said  that  it  was  unbefitting  to  discuss  such 
subjects.  You  see  well!"  Every  body  was  ready  to  laugh  ;  but 
the  burgomaster  stopped  the  explosion.  "  Thus,  then,"  continued 
Hoffman,  "  let  us  wait  for  a  council.  For  the  time  being,  I  have 
no  wish  to  discuss,  but  to  submit  to  the  bishop,  even  were  he  a 

"  Wait  for  a  council ! "  replied  Zuinglius.  "  And  who  will  attend 
a  council?  The  pope  and  lazy  ignorant  bishops,  who  will  do  nothing 
of  their  own  accord.  No :  that  is  not  the  Church !  Hong  and  Kiiss- 
nacht  (two  Zurich  villages)  are  much  more  certainly  a  Church 
than  all  the  bishops  and  popes  put  together!" 

Thus  Zuinglius  claimed  the  restoration  of  the  rights  of  the  Chris 
tian  people,  whom  Rome  had  disinherited  of  their  privileges.  The 
assembly  before  which  he  spoke  was  not,  in  his  view,  the  Church 
of  Zurich,  but  it  was  its  primary  representative.  We  have  here 
the  germs  of  the  Presbyterian  system.  Zuinglius  withdrew 
Zurich  from  the  jurisdiction  of  the  bishopric  of  Constance,  de 
tached  it  from  the  Latin  hierarchy,  and  on  the  idea  of  the  flock,  of 
the  Christian  assembly,  founded  a  new  ecclesiastical  constitution, 
uo  which  other  countries  were  at  a  later  period  to  adhere. 

The  discussion  was  continued.  Several  priests  having  risen  to 
defend  images,  but  without  appealing  to  the  Holy  Scriptures,  Zuin 
glius  and  the  other  reformers  employed  the  Scriptures  in  refuting 
them.  "  If  no  one  rises,"  said  one  of  the  presidents,  "  to  give  Bible 
arguments  in  favour  of  images,  we  shall  call  upon  some  of  their 

1  Diacosion  Senatus  summa  est  potestas  Ecclesiae  vice.    (Zw.  Op.  iii,  p.  339.) 

2  Ante  omnia  raultitudinem  de  qusestione  probe  ducere  ita  factum  est,  ut  quidquid 
lacosu  cum  verbi  ministris   ordiiiarent,  jamdudum  in  animis  tideliurn  ordinatum 
iSet.     (Ibi.l.)     By  thoroughly  instructing  the  people,  first  of  all  in  the  question,  th*/ 

result  was,  that,  whatever  the  council  of  two  hundred,  with  the  ministers  of  the  Word, 
enjoined,  was  already  enjoined  in  the  minds  of  the  faithful. 

li  nscussiON  ON  THE  MASS. 

defenders  by  name."  Nobody  coming  forward,  he  called  upon  the 
curate  of  Wadischwyl.  "  He  is  asleep,"  cried  one  of  the  audience. 
The  curate  of  Horgen  was  then  called  upon.  "  He  sent  me  in  his 
stead,"  replied  his  vicar;  "but  I  dont  wish  to  answer  for  him." 
The  Word  of  God  gave  evident  tokens  of  its  power  in  the  midst  of 
this  assembly.  The  friends  of  the  Reformation  were  full  of  power, 
liberty  and  joy  ;  their  opponents  appeared  speechless,  uneasy,  de 
sponding.  In  succession  were  called  the  curates  of  Laufen,  Glatt- 
felden,  Wetzikon,  the  rector  and  curate  of  Pfaffikon,  the  dean  of 
Elgg,  the  curate  of  Baretschwyl,  the  Dominican  and  Cordelier  friarsy 
who  were  known  every  where  to  preach  up  images,  the  Virgin, 
saints,  and  the  mass,  but  all  answered  that  they  could  not  say 
any  thing  in  their  favour,  and  that,  in  future,  they  would  apply  to 
the  study  of  the  truth.  "  Hitherto,"  said  one  of  them,  "  I  have 
believed  the  ancient ;  now  I  mean  to  believe  the  new  doctors." 
"  It  is  not  us  that  you  ought  to  believe,"  exclaimed  Zuinglius,  "  it 
is  the  Word  of  God.  The  Scriptures  alone  never  deceive."  The 
meeting  was  protracted,  and  night  drew  on.  President  Hofmeister 
of  Schaffhausen,  rose  and  said,  "Blessed  be  the  Almighty  and 
Eternal  God  who  giveth  us  the  victory  in  all  things."  He  then 
exhorted  the  counsellors  of  Zurich  to  abolish  images. 

The  meeting  was  again  held  on  Tuesday,  under  the  presidency 
of  Vadian,  for  the  discussion  of  the  doctrine  of  the  mass.  "  Bre 
thren  in  Christ,"  said  Zuinglius,  "  far  be  it  from  us  to  think  that 
there  is  any  deception  or  falsehood  in  the  blood  of  Christ.1  Our 
only  object  is  to  show  that  the  mass  is  not  a  sacrifice  which  one 
man  can  present  to  God  for  another  man,  unless,  indeed,  it  can  be 
shown  that  n  man  can  eat  and  drink  for  his  friend."  Vadian  having 
asked  on  two  several  occasions  if  any  of  those  present  were  ready  to 
defend  the  doctrine  which  was  impugned,  by  Scripture,  and  nobody 
having  answered,  the  canons  of  Zurich,  the  chaplains,  and  several 
other  ecclesiastics,  declared  that  they  agreed  with  Zuinglius. 

But  no  sooner  had  the  Reformers  thus  vanquished  the  partisans 
of  the  ancient  doctrines,  than  they  were  compelled  to  struggle 
against  those  impatient  men  who  demand  sudden  and  violent  inno 
vations,  instead  of  wise  and  gradual  reforms.  The  unhappy  Conrad 
Grebel  rose  and  said,  "  It  is  not  enough  to  have  discussed  the  mass — 
it  is  necessaiy  to  abolish  its  abuses." — "The  council,"  replied  Zuin 
glius,  will  issue  a  decree  on  this  subject."  Then  Simon  Stumpf  ex 
claimed,  "  The  Spirit  of  God  has  already  decided !  why  then  remit 
it  to  the  council  for  decision?"2 

Commander  Schmidt  of  Kussnacht  rose  up  gravely  and  uttered 

1  Pass  einigerley  Bi-trug  oiler  Falsch  syg  in  dem  reinen  Blut  und  Fleisch  Christi. 
Zw  «-v  *  n  iiuu  a  Der  Geist  Gottes  urtheUet.  (Ibid.,  i,  p.  529 J 


words  full  of  wisdom.  "  Let  us  teach  Christians,1'  said  he,  i'  to 
receive  Christ  into  their  hearts.1  Till  this  hour  you  have  all  gone 
after  idols.  Those  of  the  plain  have  run  to  the  mountains,  and 
those  of  the  mountains  have  run  to  the  plain;  the  French  to  Ger 
many,  and  the  Germans  to  France.  Now  you  know  where  you 
ought  to  go.  God  has  united  all  things  in  Christ.  Noble  men  of 
Zurich  run  to  the  true  source;  let  Jesus  Christ  again  enter  on  your 
ten'itory,  and  resume  his  ancient  empire." 

This  address  made  a  deep  impression,  and  none  having  appeared 
to  contradict  it,  Zuinglius, under  deep  emotion,  rose  and  said,  "Gra 
cious  lords,  God  is  with  us !  ...  He  will  defend  his  cause.  Now, 
then,  ...  in  the  name  of  God,  .  .  .  forward!  ..."  Here  he 
was  so  deeply  agitated  that  he  was  obliged  to  stop.  He  wept  and 
many  wept  with  him.2 

Thus  terminated  the  discussion.  The  presidents  rose ;  the  burgo 
master  thanked  them,  and  then  this  old  warrior,  addressing  the 
council,  said  gravely,  with  the  voice  which  had  so  often  been  heard 
on  the  battle-field.  "  Now,  then,  let  us  take  into  our  hands  the 
sword  of  the  Word  of  God,  .  .  .  and  may  God  prosper  his  own 

This  discussion  of  October,  1523,  had  been  decisive.  The  greater 
part  of  the  priests  who  had  been  present  at  it,  returned  full  of  zeal 
to  different  parts  of  the  canton,  and  the  effect  of  these  days  was 
felt  all  over  Switzerland.  The  church  of  Zurich,  which  had  always 
been,  to  a  certain  degree,  independent  of  the  bishopric  of  Con 
stance,  was  now  fully  emancipated.  Instead  of  resting  through 
the  bishop  on  the  pope,  it  henceforth  rested  through  the  people  on 
the  Word  of  God.  Zurich  resumed  the  rights  of  which  Rome  had 
robbed  it.  The  town  and  the  country  rivalled  each  other  in  the 
interest  they  felt  for  the  work  of  the  Reformation,  and  the  Great 
Council  only  followed  the  movement  of  the  people.  On  important 
occasions  the  town  and  villages  intimated  what  their  views  were. 
Luther  had  restored  the  Bible  to  the  Christian  people.  Zuinglius  went 
farther,  and  restored  their  rights.  This  is  a  characteristic  feature 
of  the  Reformation  in  Switzerland.  It  confided  the  maintenance 
of  sound  doctrine  under  God  to  the  people,  and  recent  events  have 
shown  that  the  people  are  better  custodiers  of  this  deposit  than 
priests  and  pontiffs. 

Zuinglius  did  not  allow  himself  to  be  inflated  by  victory.  On 
the  contrary,  the  Reformation  was  proceeded  with,  by  bis  desire, 

,'ith  great  moderation.    When  the  council  asked  his  advice,  he  said, 

1  Wie  sie  Christum  in  ihren  Herzen  sollind  bilden  und  maclien    (Zw.  Op.  i,  p.  534.) 

2  Dass  er  sich  selbst  mit  vil  andren  bewegt  zu  weinen.       (Ibid.,  p.  537.) 


"  God  knows  my  heart ;  he  knows  that  I  am  disposed  to  build  up 
and  not  to  pull  down.  I  know  timid  souls  who  require  to  be 
gently  dealt  with ;  let  the  mass  then  be  for  some  time  longer  read 
in  all  the  churches  on  Sunday,  and  let  care  be  taken  not  to  insult 
those  who  celebrate  it."  l 

The  council  issued  a  decree  to  this  effect.  Hottinger  and  Hoch- 
rutiner,  one  of  his  friends,  were  banished  from  the  canton  for  two 
years,  and  forbidden  to  return  without  permission. 

At  Zurich,  the  Reformation  followed  a  wise  and  Christian  course. 
Exalting  this  city  higher  and  higher,  it  made  it  glorious  in  the  eyes 
of  all  the  friends  of  the  Word  of  God.  Accordingly,  those  in  Swit 
zerland  who  had  hailed  the  new  day  which  was  rising  on  the 
Church,  felt  powerfully  attracted  toward  Zurich.  Oswald  My- 
conius,  driven  from'Lucerne,  had  remained  for  six  months  in  the 
ralley  of  Einsidlen,  when  one  day  as  he  was  returning  from  a  journey 
to  Glaris,2  worn  out  with  heat  and  fatigue,  he  was  met  by  his  son, 
young  Felix,  who  came  running  to  tell  him  that  he  Ayas  called  to 
Zurich  to  direct  one  of  the  schools.  Oswald,  unable  to  credit  the 
good  news,  was  suspended  between  hope  and  fear.3  "  I  am  yours," 
he  at  last  wrote  to  Zuinglius.  Geroldsek  parted  with  him  with  re 
gret,  while  sad  thoughts  filled  his  mind.  "  Ah! "  said  he  to  him, 
u  all  who  profess  Christ  go  away  to  Zurich  ;  I  fear  that  we  shall 
one  day  all  perish  together,"  4 — a  mournful  presentiment  which  the 
death  of  Gerlodsek  and  so  many  other  friends  of  the  gospel  was 
to  realise  too  truly  on  the  plains  of  Cappel. 

Myconius  at  last  found  a  safe  port  in  Zurich.  His  predecessor, 
who  from  his  stature,  had  been  nick-named  at  Paris,  "  the  great 
devil,"  had  neglected  his  duties;  Oswald  devoted  all  his  powers 
and  all  his  heart  to  the  fulfilment  of  them.  He  explained  the  Latin 
and  Greek  classics,  and  taught  rhetoric  and  logic,  while  the  youth  of 
the  town  listened  to  him  with  joy.5  Myconius  was  to  be  to  the 
young  what  Zuinglius  was  to  adults. 

Myconius  was  lirst  alarmed  at  the  advanced  scholars  he  was  to 
have ;  but  he  gradually  resumed  courage,  and  had,  ere  long,  dis 
tinguished  among  his  pupils  a  youth  of  twenty-four,  whose  look 
bespoke  a  love  of  study.  He  was  named  Thomas  Plater,  and  was 
originally  from  the  Valais.  In  the  beautiful  valley  where  the  tor 
rent  of  the  Viege  after  escaping  from  the  ocean  of  glaciers  and  snow 
which  surround  Mount  Rosa,  rolls  its  turbulent  waters  between 
St.  Nicholas  and  Stalden,  on  the  mountain  which  rises  on  the  right 
of  the  river,  still  stands  the  village  of  Grachen.  It  was  the  birth- 

Ohne  dass  jemand  sich  unterstehe  die  Messpriester  zu  beschimpfen.  (Wirtz,  H.  K. 
G.  v,  p.  i08.)  s  Insperato  nuntio  excepit  me  films  redeuntem  ex  Glareana.  (Zw. 

Ep.  p.  32?  )  3  Inter  spem  et  metum.     (Ibid.)  4  Ac  deinde  oinnes  sinml  per 

,  j.mus.     (Ibid.,  p.  3->3.)  *  Juveutus  ilium  lubens  audit.    (Ibid.,  p.  264.) 


place  of  Plater.  From  the  vicinity  of  these  colossal  Alps  was 
to  come  forth  one  of  the  most  original  characters  who  figured  in 
the  grand  drama  of  the  16th  century.  Placed  at  the  age  of  nine 
with  a  curate,  a  relation,  the  little  peasant,  when  beaten,  as  he 
often  was,  cried,  to  use  his  own  words,  like  a  hare  when  it  is  put 
to  death.  One  of  his  cousins  took  him  with  him  to  visit  the  Ger 
man  schools.  He  was  already  more  than  twenty  years  of  age,  and, 
while  running  from  school  to  school,  could  scarcely  read.1  Hav 
ing  arrived  at  Zurich,  he  firmly  resolved  to  attend  to  his  education; 
and  having  made  a  bench  for  himself  in  a  corner  of  Myconius'  school, 
said  to  himself,  "  There  you  will  learri  or  die."  The  light  of  the 
gospel  penetrated  his  heart.  One  morning,  feeling  very  cold,  and 
having  nothing  to  heat  the  school  stove,  which  it  was  his  office  to 
keep  going,  he  said  to  himself,  "  You  have  no  wood,  and  so  many 
idols  in  the  church."  Though  Zuinglius  was  to  preach,  and  the 
bells  had  begun  to  ring,  nobody  was  present.  Plater  silently 
entered  the  church,  and  carrying  off  a  St.  John  that  stood  upon 
an  altar,  put  it  in  the  stove,  saying,  "  Down  with  you,  for  you 
must  pass  through  it."  Doubtless,  neither  Myconius  or  Zuinglius 
would  have  approved  the  act. 

In  truth,  unbelief  and  superstition,  required  to  be  combated 
with  better  weapons.  Zuinglius  and  his  colleagues  had  given  the 
right  hand  of  fellowship  to  Myconius,  who  daily  expounded  the 
New  Testament  in  the  church  of  Notre  Dame  to  a  large  and  at 
tentive  audience.2  A  public  discussion,  which  took  place  on  the 
13th  and  14th  of  January,  1524,  had  given  a  new  blow  to  Home. 
In  vain  had  canon  Koch  exclaimed,  "  The  popes,  the  cardinals, 
the  bishops,  and  the  councils,  these  are  my  church!  .  .  .  " 

Every  thing  was  advancing  in  Zurich ;  men's  minds  were  en 
lightened,  their  hearts  were  fixed,  the  Reformation  was  established. 
Zurich  was  a  fortress  gained  by  the  new  doctrine,  and  from  its 
walls  that  doctrine  was  to  spread  over  the  whole  confederation. 


Diet  of  Lucerne— Hottinger  Arrested— His  Death— Deputation  of  the  Diet  to  Zurich 
— Abolition  of  Processions — Abolition  of  Images — The  two  Reformations — Ap- 
peal  to  the  People. 

The  enemy  was  aware  of  this,  and  saw  the  necessity  of  resolving  to 
strike  a  decisive  blow.  He  had  long  enough  been  mute.  The  strong 
men  of  Switzerland,  the  cuirassed  and  steel-clad  warriors  at  last  re- 

i  See  his  autobiography.  a  ^eise  Fusslin  Bey t  iv,  p.  66. 


solved  to  rise;  and  they  had  never  risen  without  reddening  the 
battle-field  with  blood. 

The  Diet  had  met  at  Lucerne.  The  priests  laboured  to  stir  up 
the  first  council  of  the  nation  in  their  favour.  Friburg  and  the 
Waldstetten  showed  themselves  their  ready  instruments;  Berne, 
Basle,  Soleure,  Glaris,  Apperizel  were  undecided.  Schaffhausen 
almost  declared  for  the  gospel,  but  Zurich  alone  stood  up  boldly 
as  its  defender.  The  partisans  of  Rome  urged  the  Diet  to  yield 
to  their  demands  and  prejudices.  "  Let  all  be  prohibited,"  said 
they,  "  to  preach,  or  announce  any  thing  new  or  Lutheran,  secretly 
or  publicly;  and  to  speak  or  dispute  on  these  topics  in  taverns  and 
over  their  cups."  x  Such  was  the  ecclesiastical  law  which  the  con 
federation  was  asked  to  establish. 

Nineteen  articles  to  this  effect  were  drawn  up,  and  being  ap 
proved  on  the  26th  January,  1523,  by  all  the  states  except  Zurich, 
were  sent  to  all  the  bailies,  with  orders  to  see  that  they  were 
strictly  observed.  "This,"  says  Bulliuger,  "caused  great  joy 
among  the  priests,  and  great  grief  among  the  faithful."  Persecu 
tion,  being  thus  regularly  organised  by  the  superior  authority  of 
the  confederation,  now  began. 

One  of  the  first  who  received  the  orders  of  the  Diet  was  Henry 
Flackenstein  of  Lucerne,  bailie  of  Baden,  within  whose  jurisdiction 
Hottinger  had  retired  on  his  banishment  from  Zurich,  after  throw 
ing  down  the  crucifix  of  Stadelhofen.  Here  he  had  not  kept  a 
watch  upon  his  tongue,  but  one  day  at  table  in  the  Angel  Inn,  at 
Zurzach,  had  said  that  the  priests  were  bad  expounders  of  the  Holy 
Scriptures,  and  that  it  was  necessary  to  c<*nfide  entirely  to  God  alone.3 
The  inn-keeper,  who  was  constantly  going  and  coming,  bringing  in 
bread  and  wine,  became  a  listener  to  language  which  seemed  to  him 
very  strange.  Another  day,  Hottinger  had  been  to  see  one  of  his 
friends,  John  Schutz  of  Schneyssingen.  After  they  had  dined  to 
gether,  Schutz  asked,  "What  then  is  this  new  faith  which  the  priests 
of  Zurich  are  preaching."  "  They  preach,"  replied  Hottinger,  "that 
Christ  was  once  sacrificed  for  all  Christians,  that  by  this  single 
sacrifice  he  has  purified  and  ransomed  them  from  all  their  sins, 
and  they  show,  by  the  Holy  Scriptures,  that  the  mass  is  a  lie." 

Hottiuger  had  afterwards  quitted  Switzerland,  (this  took  place 
in  February,  1523,)  and  gone  on  business  across  the  Rhine  to 
Waldshut.  Measures  were  taken  to  make  sure  of  him,  and  towards 
the  end  of  February,  the  poor  Zuricher,  who  suspected  nothing, 
having  again  crossed  the  Rhine,  no  sooner  reached  Coblentz,  a 
village  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river,  than  he  was  arrested.  He 

i  Es  soil  nieman  in  den  Wirtzhiiseren  oder  Runst  hinter  dem  Wyn  von  Lutheris- 
chen  oder nuwen  Sachen  uzid  reden.  (Bull.  Chron.  p.  144.)  a  Wie  wir  unser  pit! 

Iloffimns  und  Trost  allein  uf  Gott.     (Ibid.,  p.  HG.) 



was  taken  to  Klingenau.  As  he  confessed  his  faith  frankly,  Flack- 
enstein  became  irritated,  and  said,  "  I  will  take  you  where  you 
will  find  your  answer." 

In  fact,  the  bailie  took  him  successively  before  the  judges  of 
Klingenau,  before  the  superior  tribunal  of  Baden,  and  at  length, 
as  none  would  declare  him  guilty,  he  took  him  before  the  Diet  as 
sembled  at  Lucerne.  He  was  determined  to  find  judges  who  would 
condemn  him. 

The  Diet  lost  no  time,  and  condemned  Hottinger  to  be  beheaded. 
On  learning  his  sentence,  he  gave  thanks  to  Jesus  Christ.  "  Very 
good,  very  good,"  said  James  Troger,  one  of  the  judges,  "we  are 
not  here  to  listen  to  sermons.  You  will  babble  some  other  time." 
"  His  head  must  first  be  taken  off,"  said  bailie  Amort  of  Lucerne 
laughing, 4i  but  if  it  comes  on  again,  we  will  all  embrace  his  creed." 
11  May  God  forgive  those  who  condemn  me,"  said  the  prisoner. 
Then  a  monk  having  put  a  crucifix  to  his  lips,  he  pushed  it  away 
saying,  "  It  is  in  the  heart  that  we  ought  to  receive  Christ." 

When  he  was  led  away  to  execution,  several  in  the  crowd  could 
not  refrain  from  tears.  "  I  am  going  to  eternal  happiness,"  said 
he,  turning  towards  them.  On  reaching  the  place  of  execution, 
he  raised  his  eyes  to  heaven,  and  said,  "  I  commit  my  soul  into 
thy  hands,  O  my  Redeemer."  Next  moment  his  head  rolled  on 
the  scaffold. 

No  sooner  had  Hottinger's  blood  been  shed  than  the  enemies  of 
the  Reformation  took  advantage  of  it  still  more  to  inflame  the 
rage  of  the  confederates.  In  Zurich  itself  must  the  evil  be  sup 
pressed.  The  dreadful  example  which  had  just  been  given  must 
have  filled  Zuinglius  and  his  partisans  with  terror.  One  vigorous 
effort  more  and  Hottinger's  death  will  be  followed  by  that  of  tho 
Reformation.  .  .  .  The  Diet  immediately  resolved  that  a  deputa 
tion  should  be  sent  to  Zurich,  to  ask  the  council  and  citizens  to 
abjure  their  faith. 

On  the  21st  of  March,  the  deputation  was  received.  "Ancient 
Christian  unity,"  said  the  deputies,  "is  broken;  the  evil  extends  ; 
already  have  the  clergy  of  the  four  Waldstettcs  declared,  that  if  aid 
is  not  given  to  them,  they  will  be  obliged  to  desist  from  their  func 
tions.  Confederates  of  Zurich,  join  your  efforts  to  ours ;  strangle  this 
new  faith  j1  depose  Zuinglius  and  his  disciples ;  then  let  us  all  unite 
in  applying  a  remedy  to  the  encroachments  of  the  popes  and  their 

Thus  spoke  the  enemy.  "What,  then,  were  the  men  of  Zurich  to 
do?  Would  their  hearts  fail  them,  and  their  courage  melt  away 
with  the  blood  of  their  fellow-citizen? 

1  Zurich  selbigen  ausreuten  und  untertrucken  helfe.     (Ilott  Ilelv.  K.  G.  iii,  p.  170.) 



Zurich  did  not  long  leave  her  friends  and  enemies  in  uncertainty. 
The  council  answered  calmly  and  nobly,  that  they  could  not  make 
any  concession  when  the  Word  of  God  was  involved,  and  after 
wards  proceeded  to  reply  in  terms  still  more  eloquent. 

It  had  been  customary,  from  the  year  1351,  that,  on  Whitsunday 
Monday,  a  numerous  procession,  in  which  every  pilgrim  bore  a 
cross,  should  repair  to  Einsidlen  to  worship  the  Virgin.  Great 
irregularities  were  committed  during  this  festival,1  which  was  estab 
lished  in  memory  of  the  battle  of  Tatwyll.  The  procession  was 
to  take  place  on  the  7th  May.  On  the  application  of  the  threo 
pastors  the  council  abolished  it,  and  all  the  other  processions  were 
successively  reformed. 

Nor  did  they  stop  here.  Relics,  the  source  of  many  superstitions, 
were  honourably  buried.2  Thereafter,  on  the  demand  of  the  three 
pastors,  the  council  issued  a  decree  purporting  that,  as  God  alone 
was  to  be  honoured,  images  should  be  removed  from  all  the  churches 
of  the  canton,  and  their  ornaments  employed  in  relieving  the  poor. 
Twelve  counsellors,  Cone  from  each  tribe,)  the  three  pastors,  the 
architect  of  the  town,  blacksmiths,  locksmiths,  carpenters,  and 
masons,  repaired  to  the  different  churches,  and,  locking  the  doors 
behind  them,3  took  down  the  crosses,  picked  away  the  figures 
in  fresco,  whitened  the  walls,  and  carried  off  the  images,  to  the 
great  joy  of  the  faithful,  who,  said  Bullinger,  "saw  in  this  act  a 
brilliant  homage  rendered  to  God."  In  some  country  churches,  the 
ornaments  were  burned  to  the  honour  and  glory  of  God.  Organs, 
which  were  frequently  played  in  connection  with  divers  super 
stitions,  were  abolished,  and  baptism  was  administered  after  a  new- 
formula,  from  which  every  thing  not  Scriptural  was  excluded. 

Burgomaster  Roust,  and  his  colleague,  gladly  hailed  the  triumphs 
of  the  Reformation  with  their  last  look.  They  had  lived  long 
enough,  and  they  died  at  the  very  time  of  this  great  revival. 

The  Swiss  Reformation  presents  itself  under  an  aspect  very  dif 
ferent  from  that  of  the  German  Reformation.  Luther  had  set  his 
face  against  the  excesses  of  those  who  broke  down  the  images 
in  the  churches  of  Wittemberg  ;  but  images  fell  in  the  presence  of 
Zuinglius  in  the  churches  of  Zurich.  This  difference  is  explained  by 
the  peculiarities  of  the  two  Reformers.  Luther  wished  to  retain  in 
the  Church  every  thing  that  was  not  directly  contrary  to  Scripture, 
whereas  Zuinglius  wished  to  abolish  every  thing  that  could  not  be 
proved  by  Scripture.  The  German  Reformer  wished  to  remain 
united  to  the  Church  of  former  ages,  and  was  satisfied  with  purging 

1  tiff  einen  creitzgang  sieben  unehelicher  kinden  ubeT-kommen  wurdend.    (Bullin- 
ger,  Chr.  p.  160.  2  Und  es  eerlich  bestattet  hat.    (Ibid.,  p.  161.)  8  Habend 

die  nach  inen  zu  beschlossen. 


it  of  every  thing  that  was  opposed  to  the  "Word  of  God.  The  Zurich 
Reformer  passed  by  all  these  ages,  returned  to  apostolic  times,  and 
subjecting  the  Church  to  a  complete  transformation,  laboured  to 
re-establish  it  in  its  primitive  form. 

The  Reformation  of  Zuinglius  was  therefore  the  more  complete. 
The  work  which  Providence  had  committed  to  Luther — the  re- 
establishment  of  justification  by  faith — was  doubtless  the  great 
work  of  the  Reformation;  but  this  work  once  finished,  there 
remained  others  which,  though  perhaps  secondary,  were  still  im 
portant.  This  was,  more  especially,  the  work  of  Zuinglius. 

In  fact,  two  great  tasks  were  given  to  the  Reformers.  Christian 
Catholicism,  which  was  born  amid  Jewish  pharisaism  and  Greek 
heathenism,  had  gradually  yielded  to  the  influence  of  these  two 
religions,  and  thereby  been  transformed  into  Roman  Catholicism. 
Now  the  Reformation,  in  as  much  as  it  had  been  called  to  purify 
the  Church,  was  bound  to  emancipate  it  equally  from  the  heathen 
and  from  the  Jewish  element. 

The  Jewish  element  existed  especially  in  that  department  of 
Christian  doctrine  which  bears  reference  to  man.  Catholicism  had 
received  from  Judaism  the  pharisaical  ideas  of  self-righteousness, 
and  salvation  by  human  powers,  or  works. 

The  heathen  element  existed  especially  in  that  department  of 
Christian  doctrine  which  relates  to  God.  In  .Catholicism,  the  idea 
of  an  infinite  God,  whose  all-sufficient  power  acts  every  where,  and 
without  ceasing,  had  been  adulterated  by  heathenism.  In  its 
place  the  reign  of  symbols,  images,  and  ceremonies,  had  been  in 
troduced  into  the  Church,  and  the  saints  had  become  the  demi 
gods  of  the  papacy. 

Luther's  Reformation  was  directed  essentially  against  the  Jewish 
element.  This  was  the  element  with  which  he  had  to  struggle, 
when  an  audacious  monk  was  sent  by  the  pope,  to  vend  the  salva 
tion  of  souls  for  ready  cash. 

The  Reformation  of  Zuinglius  was  specially  directed  against  the 
Heathen  element.  This  element  he  had  encountered  when  in  the 
Church  of  Our  Lady  of  Einsidlen,  as  of  old  in  the  temple  of  Diana 
of  Ephesus,  a  crowd  who  had  flocked  from  all  quarters,  stupidly 
prostrated  themselves  before  an  idol  decked  in  gold. 

The  Reformer  of  Germany  proclaimed  the  great  doctrine  of 
justification  by  faith,  and  thereby  gave  a  death-blow  to  the  phari 
saical  righteousness  of  Rome.  No  doubt  the  Reformer  of  Swit 
zerland  did  so  also ;  the  inability  of  man  to  save  himself  forms  the 
basis  of  the  work  of  all  reformers.  But  Zuinglius  did  more.  He 
proved  the  supreme,  universal,  exclusive  existence  and  agency  of 
God,  and  thus  gave  a  mortft)  thrust  to  the  pagan  worship  of  Rome. 



"Roman  Catholicism  had  exalted  man  and  dishonoured  God. 
Luther  humbled  man :  Zuinglius  exalted  God. 

These  two  tasks,  which  were  theirs  specially,  but  not  exclusively, 
were  both  completed.  That  of  Luther  laid  the  foundation  of  the 
building :  that  of  Zuinglius  put  on  the  cope-stone. 

It  was  reserved  for  a  still  greater  genius  on  the  banks  of  the  lake 
of  Geneva,  to  impress  both  characters  at  once  on  the  Reformation.1 

But  while  Zuinglius  was  thus  advancing  with  rapid  strides  at  the 
head  of  the  confederation,  the  temper  of  the  cantons  was  always 
becoming  more  hostile.  The  Zurich  government  felt  the  necessity  of 
being  able  to  fall  back  on  the  people.  The  people,  f.  e.,  the  assembly 
of  the  faithful,  was,  moreover,  according  to  the  principles  of  Zuing 
lius,  the  highest  power  on  earth  to  which  an  appeal  could  be  made. 
The  council  resolved  to  sound  them,  and  ordered  the  bailies  to  put  the 
question  to  all  the  communes,  whether  they  were  willing  to  endure 
every  thing  for  the  sake  of  Jesus  Christ,  "  who,"  said  the  council, 
"  gave  for  us  sinners  his  life  and  blood."  2  The  whole  canton  had 
taken  a  deep  interest  in  the  progress  of  the  Reformation  in  the 
town,  and  in  many  places  the  houses  of  the  peasantry  had  become 
Christian  schools,  in  which  the  Holy  Scriptures  were  read. 

The  proclamation  of  the  council,  which  was  read  in  all  the  dis 
tricts,  was  received  with  enthusiasm.  "  Let  our  rulers,1'  replied 
they,  "  adhere  boldly  to  the  Word  of  God,  we  will  help  them  to 
maintain  it;  3  and  if  any  annoyance  is  given  them,  we  will  bring 
assistance  to  our  brave  fellow -citizens."  The  peasantry  of  Zurich 
showed  then,  as  they  have  shown  since,  that  the  strength  of  the 
Church  is  in  the  Christian  people. 

But  the  people  were  not  alone.  The  man  whom  God  had  placed 
at  their  head,  responded  nobly  to  their  appeal.  Zuinglius,  as  it  were, 
multiplied  himself  for  the  service  of  God.  All  who,  in  the  Helvetic 
cantons,  endured  any  persecution  for  the  gospel,  applied  to  him.4 
The  responsibilty  of  affairs,  the  care  of  the  Church,  anxious  inter 
est  in  the  struggle  carried  on  in  all  the  Swiss  vallies,  formed  the 
burdens  of  the  Zurich  evangelist.5  At  Wittemberg,  news  of  his 
courage  were  received  with  joy.  Luther  and  Zuinglius  were  two 
great  luminaries  placed  in  upper  and  lower  Germany,  and  the  doc 
trine  of  salvation,  so  powerfully  preached  by  them,  spread  over  the 
extensive  regions,  which  descend  from  the  heights  of  the  Alps  to 
the  shores  of  the  Baltic  and  the  Northern  Ocean. 

1  Litterarischer  Anzeiger,  1840,  No.  27.  2  Der  sin  rosenfarw  bliit  alein  fur 

uns  arme  sunder  ver^ossen  hat.     (Bull.  Chr.  p.  180.)  3  Meine  Herrn  sollten 

auch  nur  dapfer  bey  dem  Gottsworte  verbleiberu    (Fussl.  Beytr.,  iv,p.  107,  where  the 
replies  of  all  the  districts  are  given.)  *  Scribunt  ex  Helvetiis  terme  ornnes  qui 

propter  Christum  pi-emuntur.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  348.)  6  Negotiorum  strepitus  et 

ecclesiarum  curse  ita  me  undique  quatiunt.    (Ibid.)     The  noibe  of  business,  and  the 
care  of  the  churches  so  harass  me  on  every  side. 


CHAP.  V. 

New  Opposition— OZxlin  carried  off— The  Family  of  the  Wirths— The  mob  at  the 
Convent  of  Ittingen— The  Diet  of  Zug— The  Wirths  seized  and  given  up  to  the 
Diet — Condemnation. 

The  Word  of  God  could  not  thus  triumphantly  spread  over  exten 
sive  districts  without  arousing  the  indignation  of  the  pope  in  his 
palace,  the  curates  in  their  presbyteries,  and  the  Swiss  magistrates 
in  their  councils.    Their  terror  increased  every  day.    The  people 
were  consulted ;  the  Christian  people  again  became  of  some  weight 
in  the  Christian  Church,  and  their  faith  and  their  sympathies  were 
appealed  to  instead  of  the  decrees  of  the  Roman  chancery  ....  This 
formidable  attack  required  a  still  more  formidable  resistance.     On 
the  18th  April,  the  pope  addressed  a  brief  to  the  confederates,  and 
the  Diet  assembled  at  Zug  in  the  month  of  July,  yielding  to  the 
pressing  exhortations  of  the  pontiff,  sent  a  deputation  to  Zurich, 
Schaffhausen  and  Appenzel,  to  declare  to  these  States  its  firm  deter 
mination  to  destroy  the  new  doctrine,  and  prosecute  its  adherents, 
in  their  goods,  their  honours,  and  even  their  lives.    This  warning 
was  not  heard  in  Zurich  without  emotion;   but  it  was  firmly 
answered,  that,  in  matters  of  faith,  obedience  could  only  be  given 
to  the  Word  of  God.     On  hearing  this  reply,  Lucerne,  Schwitz, 
Uri,  Underwalden,  Friburg,  and  Zug,  gave  loud  utterance  to  their 
rage,  and  forgetting  the  reputation  and  strength  which  the  acces 
sion  of  Zurich  had  of  old  given  to  the  rising  confederation,  forgetting 
the  precedence  which  had  already  been  conceded  to  it,  the  simple 
and  solemn  oaths  which  had  been  taken  to  it,  and  the  many  com 
mon  victories  and  reverses,  these  states  declared  that  they  would 
not  sit  in  Diet  with  Zurich.     Thus,  in  Switzerland,  as  in  Germany, 
the  partisans  of  Rome  were  the  first  to  violate  federal  unity.     But 
menaces  and  ruptures  of  alliance,  were  not  sufficient.    The  fanati 
cism  of  the  cantons  demanded  blood,  and  it  was  soon  seen  with 
what  weapons  the  papacy  sought  to  combat  the  Word  of  God. 

A  friend  of  Zuinglius,  the  excellent  CExlin,1  was  pastor  at  Berg, 
near  Stein,  on  the  Rhine.  The  bailie,  Amberg,  who  had  appeared 
to  listen  gladly  to  the  gospel,2  wishing  to  obtain  this  bailiwick,  had 
promised  the  leading  men  in  Schwitz  to  destroy  the  new  faith. 
(Exlin,  though  he  was  not  subject  to  his  jurisdiction  was  the  first 
on  whom  his  severity  was  to  be  exercised. 

On  the  night  of  7th  July,  1524,  a  knock  was  heard  towards 

1  See  VoL  ii,  p.  387.        2  per  war  anfangs  dem  Evangelic  guustig.  (Bull,  Chr.,  p.  180.) 

I  2 


midnight  at  the  pastor's  door.  On  being  opened,  the  bailie's 
soldiers  seized  him,  and  carried  him  off  prisoner,  notwithstanding 
of  his  cries.  GExlin,  on  his  part,  thinking  they  were  going  to 
assassinate  him,  cried  murder ;  the  inhabitants  got  up  in  alarm, 
and  tho  whole  village  was  soon  in  a  frightful  tumult,  the  noise  of 
which  reached  as  far  as  Stein.  The  sentinel  on  guard  at  the  castle 
of  Hohenklingen  fired  the  alarm  cannon,  the  tocsin  sounded,  and 
the  inhabitants  of  Stein,  Stammheim,  and  the  adjacent  places,  were 
all,  in  a  few  moments,  in  motion,  inquiring,  amid  the  darkness,  as 
to  what  had  happened  in  the  district. 

At  Stammheim  lived  vice-bailie  Wirth,  whose  two  sons,  Adrian 
and  John,  young  priests  full  of  piety  and  courage,  earnestly  preached 
the  gospel.  John,  especially,  in  the  fulness  of  faith,  was  ready  to  givs 
his  life  to  his  Savkmr.  It  was  a  patriarchal  family.  Anna,  the  mo 
ther,  who  had  given  the  bailie  a  numerous  family,  and  had  brought 
them  up  in  the  fear  of  the  Lord,  was  revered  for  her  virtues  over  the 
whole  district.  On  hearing  of  the  tumult  of  Berg,  the  father  and 
the  two  eldest  sons  came  out  of  the  house.  The  father's  indignation 
was  roused  when  he  saw  that  the  bailie  of  Frauenfeld  had  exercised 
his  authority  in  an  illegal  manner.  The  sons  were  grieved  to  learn 
that  their  brother,  their  friend,  he  whose  good  example  they  loved 
to  follow,  was  carried  off  as  a  criminal.  Each  of  them  seized  a 
halbert,  and,  in  spite  of  the  fears  of  an  affectionate  wife  and  mother, 
the  father  and  the  two  sons  joined  the  band  of  the  citizens  of  Stein, 
determined  to  deliver  their  pastor.  Unhappily  a  crowd  of  those 
nondescript  individuals  who  always  spring  up  whenever  there  is 
any  disturbance,  were  also  astir.  They  set  off  in  pursuit  of  the 
bailie's  officers,  who,  hearing  the  tocsin  and  sounds  of  alarm,  made 
all  speed,  and  dragging  along  their  victim,  soon  placed  the  Thur 
between  themselves  and  their  pursuers. 

The  people  of  Stein  and  Stammheim  reached  the  river  side,  but 
having  no  means  of  crossing,  stopped,  and  resolved  to  send  a  de 
putation  to  Frauenfeld.  "  Ah !"  said  bailie  Wirth,  "  the  pastor  of 
Stein  is  so  dear  to  us  that  I  would  willingly  give  up  every  thing 
for  him,  my  goods,  my  liberty,  and  even  my  life."  *•  The  mob 
finding  themselves  near  the  convent  of  the  Cordeliers  of  Ittingen, 
who  were  supposed  to  stimulate  the  tyranny  of  the  bailie  Amberg, 
entered,  and  got  possession  of  the  refectory.  These  miserable 
beings  soon  became  intoxicated,  and  scenes  of  disorder  ensued. 
Wirth  implored  them,  but  in  vain,  to  quit  the  convent; 2  he  even  ex 
posed  himself  to  be  maltreated  by  them.  His  son  Adrian  remained 
outside  the  cloister.  John  entered  it,  but  distressed  at  what  he  saw 

1  Sunder  die  kuttlen  im  Buch  fur  Im  w agan.   (Bull.  Chr.,  p.  193.)  3  Und  budt 

ty  um  Gottes  willen  uss  dem  Kloster  zu  gand.    (Ibid.,  p.  183.) 



he  immediately  came  out  again.1  The  intoxicated  peasants  began 
to  break  into  the  wine  cellars  and  stores,  to  break  the  furniture  to 
pieces,  and  burn  the  books. 

News  of  these  disorders  having  reached  Zurich,  deputies  from 
the  council  hastened  to  the  spot,  and  ordered  those  who  had  come 
out  of  the  canton  to  return  to  their  homes.  The  order  was  obeyed. 
But  a  crowd  of  Thurgovians,  attracted  by  the  tumult,  installed 
themselves  in  the  convent,  and  there  made  good  cheer.  Sud 
denly,  no  one  knew  how,  a  fire  broke  out,  and  the  convent  was 
reduced  to  ashes. 

Five  days  after,  the  deputies  of  the  cantons  met  at  Zug.  Cries 
of  revenge  and  death  were  heard  in  the  assembly.  u  Let  us  march," 
said  they,  "  with  banners  unfurled,  on  Stein  and  Stammheim,  and 
smite  their  inhabitants  with  the  sword."  The  vice-bailie  and  his  two 
sons,  on  account  of  their  faith,  had  long  been  the  objects  of  special 
hatred.  "  If  any  one  is  guilty,"  said  the  deputy  of  Zurich,  "  let 
him  be  punished ;  but  be  it  according  to  the  laws  of  justice,  and 
not  by  violence."  Vadian,  deputy  of  St.  Gall,  supported  this 
view.  Then  the  envoy,  John  Hug  of  Lucerne,  unable  to  restrain 
himself,  exclaimed,  with  dreadful  oaths,1  "The  heretic,  Zuinglius, 
is  the  father  of  all  these  revolts,  and  you,  doctor  of  St.  Gall,  yon 
favour  his  infamous  cause,  you  aid  him  in  securing  its  triumphs. 
....  You  ought  not  to  sit  longer  among  us."  The  deputy  of 
Zug  endeavoured  to  restore  peace,  but  in  vain,  Vadian  retired ; 
and,  as  some  of  the  populace  had  designs  upon  his  life,  he  secretly 
left  the  town,  and  arrived,  by  a  devious  course,  at  the  convent  of 

Zurich,  determined  to  suppress  all  disorder,  resolved,  in  the 
meantime,  to  apprehend  those  who  had  roused  the  anger  of  the 
confederates.  Wirth  and  his  sons  were  living  peaceably  at  Stamm 
heim.  "  Never  will  the  enemies  of  God  be  able  to  overcome  his 
friends,"  said  Adrian  Wirth  from  the  pulpit.  The  father  received 
information  of  the  fate  which  awaited  him,  and  was  urged  to  fly 
with  his  sons.  "  No,"  said  he :  "  trusting  in  God,  I  mean  to  wait 
for  the  officers."  And,  when  the  soldiers  made  their  appearance 
at  his  house,  he  said,  "My  lords  of  Zurich  might  have  spared 
themselves  all  this  trouble  ;  they  had  only  to  send  a  child  for  me, 
and  I  would  have  obeyed." 2  The  three  Wirths  were  led  away  to 
the  prison  of  Zurich.  Rutiman,  bailie  of  Nussbaum,  shared  their 
fate.  They  were  closely  examined,  but  nothing  was  discovered  in 
their  conduct  to  criminate  them. 

As  soon  as  the  deputies  had  learned  the  imprisonment  of  these 

1  Ban  es  Im  leid  was.    (Ibid.,  p.  195.)    2  Mit  flnchen  und  wiiten.    (Bull.  Chr.,  p.  181.) 
»  Dann  hnttind  sy  mir  ein  kind  geschickt.  (Ibid.,  p.  186.) 

3  o 


four  citizens,  they  demanded  that  they  should  be  sent  to  Baden, 
and  gave  orders,  in  the  event  of  a  refusal,  to  march  upon  Zurich 
and  cany  them  off.  "To  Zurich,"  replied  the  deputies  of  this 
state,  "  it  belongs  to  ascertain  whether  these  men  are  guilty  or 
not ;  and  we  have  found  no  fault  in  them."  Then  the  deputies  of 
the  cantons  exclaimed,  "Will  you  deliver  them  to  us?  Answer 
yes  or  no ;  and  not  one  word  more."  Two  of  the  deputies  of 
Zurich  took  horse,  and  rode  off  at  full  speed  to  their  constituents. 

On  their  arrival  all  the  town  was  in  great  agitation.  If  the 
prisoners  were  refused,  the  confederates  would  come  and  seek  them 
with  arms  in  their  hands;  and,  if  they  were  delivered,  it  was  the 
same  thing  as  giving  them  up  to  death.  Opinions  were  divided. 
Zuinglius  was  decidedly  for  refusing.  "  Zurich,"  said  he,  "must 
remain  faithful  to  its  constitutions."  At  last  it  was  thought  that  a 
middle  course  had  been  found.  "  We  will  remit  the  prisoners  to 
you,"  said  they  to  the  diet,  "  but  on  condition  that  you  will  only 
examine  them  as  to  the  affair  of  Ittingen,  and  not  as  to  their  faith." 
The  Diet  acceded  to  the  terms ;  and  on  the  Friday  before  St.  Bar 
tholomew's  day  (August,  1524,)  the  three  Wirths  and  their  friend, 
accompanied  by  four  counsellors  of  state,  left  Zurich. 

There  was  general  lamentation.  It  was  foreseen  what  fate 
awaited  these  two  old  men  and  these  two  youths.  Nothing  but 
sobbing  was  heard  as  they  passed  along.  "Alas!"  exclaims  a 
contemporary,  "  what  a  mournful  procession."  -1  The  churches 
were  crowded.  "  God,"  exclaimed  Zuinglius,  "  God  will  punish 
us.  Ah !  let  us,  at  least,  implore  him  to  impart  his  grace  to  these 
poor  prisoners,  and  strengthen  then-  faith.2 

On  Friday  evening  the  accused  arrived  at  Baden,  where  an  im 
mense  crowd  was  waiting  for  them.  They  were  first  taken  to  an 
inn  and  then  to  prison.  They  had  difficulty  in  moving  forward, 
the  people  pressed  so  close  upon  them  to  see  them.  The  father, 
who  walked  in  front,  turned  towards  his  sons,  and  mildly  said  to 
them,  "  See,  my  dear  children,  we  are.  as  the  apostle  says,  as  it 
were  appointed  to  death :  for  we  are  made  a  spectacle  to  the  world, 
and  to  angels,  and  to  men."  1  Cor.  iv,  9.  Then  perceiving  in  the 
crowd  his  mortal  enemy,  bailie  Amberg,  the  cause  of  all  his  mis 
fortunes,  he  went  up  and  offered  him  his  hand,  but  the  bailie  turned 
away.  Clasping  his  hand  in  his,  he  calmly  said,  "  God  lives  in 
heaven,  and  knows  all  things." 

The  inquest  commenced  on  the  following  day.  Bailie  Wirth 
was  first  brought  in.  He  was  put  to  the  torture  without  regard  to 
his  character  or  his  age ;  but  he  persisted  in  declaring  that  he  was 

1  0  web !  was  elender  Fahrt  war  das!     (Bern.  Weyss.  Fussl.  Beyt.  iv,  p.  56.) 

2  Sy  troste  und  in  warem  glouben  starckte.     (Bull.  Chr.  p.  188.) 


innocent  of  the  pillaging  and  burning  of  Ittingen.  He  was  then 

charged  with  destroying  an  image  of  St.  Anne Nothing 

could  be  proved  against  the  other  prisoners,  except  that  Adrian 
Wirth  was  married,  and  preached  after  the  manner  of  Zuinglius 
and  Luther ;  and  that  John  Wirth  had  given  the  sacrament  to  a 
sick  person,  without  bell  and  taper.1 

But  the  more  their  innocence  was  proved,  the  more  the  rage  of 
their  adversaries  increased.  From  morning  till  noon  the  old  man 
was  kept  under  the  torture.  His  tears  could  not  soften  his  judges. 
John  Wirth  was  still  more  cruelly  tortured.  "  Tell  us,"  he  was 
asked  in  the  midst  of  his  agony,  "  tell  us  where  you  got  your 
heretical  faith  ?  Was  it  from  Zuinglius,  or  some  other  person  ?" 
And,  as  he  exclaimed,  u  O  merciful  and  eternal  God,  come  to  my 
aid  and  support  me!"  "  Ah,  well!"  said  one  of  the  deputies  to 
him,  "  where  is  now  thy  Christ?  "  When  Adrian  appeared,  Se 
bastian  of  Stein,  deputy  of  Berne,  said  to  him,  "  Young  man,  tell 
us  the  truth ;  for  if  you  refuse  to  tell  it,  I  swear  to  you,  by  my 
knighthood,  which  I  acquired  in  the  very  place  where  God  suf 
fered  martyrdom,  that  we  will  open  all  the  veins  of  your  body  in 
succession."  Then  the  young  man  was  attached  to  a  cord,  and  as 
they  swung  him  in  the  air,  u  My  little  master,"  said  Stein,  with  a 
diabolical  smile,  "  here  is  our  marriage  present,"  2  alluding  to  the 
marriage  of  the  Lord's  young  servant. 

The  process  being  concluded,  the  deputies  returned  to  their 
cantons  to  make  their  report,  and  did  not  return  till  four  weeks 
after.  The  bailie's  wife,  the  mother  of  the  two  young  priests,  re 
paired  to  Baden,  with  an  infant  in  her  arms,  to  intercede  with  the 
judges.  John  Escher  of  Zurich,  accompanied  her  as  advocate. 
Perceiving  among  the  judges  the  landamman  of  Zug,  Jerome 
Stocker,  who  had  two  diiferent  times  been  bailie  of  Frauenfeld. 
u Landamman,"  said  he  to  him,  "you  know  bailie  Wirth:  you 
know  that  he  has  all  his  life  been  an  honest  man."  "  You  say 
true,  my  dear  Escher,"  replied  Stocker,  "  he  never  harmed  any 
one ;  fellow  citizens  and  strangers  were  always  kindly  received  at 
his  table;  his  house  resembled  a  convent,  an  inn,  an  hospital.3 
Hence,  if  he  had  robbed  or  murdered,  I  Avould  do  every  thing  in  my 
power  to  obtain  his  pardon.  But  since  he  has  burned  St.  Anne, 
the  grandmother  of  Christ,  he  must  die!"  ....  "God  have 
mercy  omus,"  exclaimed  Escher. 

The  gates  were  shut.  This  was  on  the  28th  September,  and  the 
deputies  of  Berne,  Lucerne,  Uri,  Schwitz,  Underwald,  Zug,  Glaris, 

1  On  Kerzen,  schellen  und  anders  so  bisshar  geiipt  ist.    (Bull.  Chr.  p.  196.) 

2  Alls  man  inn  am  folter  seyl  uffzog,  sagt  der  zum  Stein  :  Herrli.  das  ist  die  gaab 
die  wirtich  zu  liwer  Hussfrowen  schanckencl.     (Ibid.,  p.  190.)  *  Sin  huss  ist 
allwey  gstn  wie  ein  Kloster,  wirtshuss  und    pi  tall.     (Ibid.,  p.  198.) 


Friburg,  and  Soleure,  having  proceeded  to  judgment  with  closed 
doors,  according  to  custom,  pronounced  sentence  of  death  on  bailie 
Wirth,  his  son  John,  who  was  strongest  in  the  faith,  and  appeared 
to  have  carried  the  others  along  with  him,  and  bailie  Rutiman. 
Adrian,  the  second  son,  was  granted  to  his  mother's  tears. 

The  officers  proceeded  to  the  tower  to  fetch  the  prisoners. 
u  My  son,"  said  the  father  to  Adrian,  "  do  not  avenge  our  death, 

although  we  have  not  deserved  to  suffer "    Adrian's 

tears  fell  fast.  "  My  brother,"  said  John  to  him,  "  the  cross  of 
Jesus  Christ  must  always  follow  his  word."  1 

After  the  judgment  was  read,  these  three  Christians  were  taken 
back  to  prison ;  John  Wirth  walked  in  front,  the  two  vice-bailies 
next,  and  a  vicar  followed.  As  they  passed  the  castle  bridge, 
where  was  a  chapel  consecrated  to  St.  Joseph,  "  Prostrate  your 
selves,  and  invoke  the  saints,"  said  the  priest  to  the  two  old  men. 
John  Wirth,  who  was  in  advance,  turned  back  on  hearing  these 
words,  and  cried  out,  "  Father,  remain  firm.  You  know  there  is 
only  one  mediator  between  God  and  man,  the  man  Christ  Jesus." 
"  Certainly,  my  son,"  replied  the  old  man,  "  and  with  the  help  of 
}'is  grace  I  will  remain  faithful  unto  the  end."  All  three  now 
began  to  repeat  the  Lord's  Prayer,  "  Our  Father  which  art  in 
heaven."  Then  they  passed  the  bridge. 

They  were  afterwards  led  to  the  scaffold.  John  Wirth,  whose 
heart  was  filled  with  the  tenderest  anxiety  for  his  father,  took 
farewell  of  him.  "  My  dearly  beloved  father,"  said  he  to  him, 
"  henceforth  you  are  no  longer  my  father,  and  I  am  no  longer  your 
son ;  but  we  are  brethren  in  Christ  our  Lord,  for  whose  name  I  am 
to  suffer  death.2  To-day,  dearly  beloved  brother,  if  it  pleases  God, 
we  shall  go  to  him  who  is  the  father  of  us  all.  Fear  nothing." — 
"  Amen!  "  replied  the  old  man,  "  and  may  God  Almighty  bless 
you,  my  beloved  son,  and  my  brother  in  Christ !  " 

Thus,  on  the  threshold  of  eternity,  this  father  and  son  took 
leave  of  each  other,  hailing  the  new  mansions  where  they  were 
going  to  be  united  by  everlasting  ties.  The  greater  part  of  those 
around  them  were  weeping  bitterly.3  Bailie  Rutiman  prayed  in 

The  three  having  knelt  down,  "  in  the  name  of  Christ,"  were 

The  multitude,  on  seeing  the  marks  of  the  torture  upon  their  bodies, 
gave  loud  utterance  to  their  grief.  The  two  bailies  left  twenty-two 
children,  and  forty-five  grandchildren.  Anne  had  to  pay  twelve 

1  Doch  allwag  das  criitz  darby.      (Bull.  Chr.  p.  198.)  2  Furohin  bist  du  nitt 

pe  min  Vatter  und  ich  din  sun,  sondern  wir  sind  briidern  in  €hristo.    (Ibid.,  p. 
•04.)  3  Des  gnadens  weyneten  vil  Liithen  herzlich.    (Ibid.) 


gold  crowns  to  the  executioner,  who  deprived  her  husband  and  sou 
of  life. 

Thus  blood,  pure  blood  had  flowed.  Switzerland  and  the  Re 
formation  were  baptised  with  the  blood  of  martyrs.  The  great 
enemy  of  the  gospel  had  done  his  work ;  but  in  doing  it  his  power 
was  broken.  The  death  of  the  Wirths  was  to  hasten  the  triumphs 
of  the  Reformation. 


Abolition  of  the  Mass — Zuinglius'  dream — Celebration  of  the  Lord's  Supper — 
Brotherly  Charity — Original  Sin — The  Oligarchs  against  the  Reformation — 
Divers  Attacks. 

It  was  not  thought  desirable  to  proceed  to  the  abolition  of  the 
mass  in  Zurich,  immediately  after  that  of.  images;  but  now  the 
moment  seemed  arrived. 

Not  only  was  evangelical  light  diffused  among  the  people ;  but, 
•  moreover,  the  blows  which  the  enemy  struck,  called  upon  the 
friends  of  the  gospel  to  reply  to  them  by  striking  demonstrations 
of  their  immoveable  fidelity.  Every  time  that  Rome  erects  a 
scaffold,  and  cuts  off  heads,  the  Reformation  will  hold  up  the 
Word  of  the  Lord,  and  cut  off  abuses.  When  Hottinger  was 
executed,  Zurich  abolished  images;  now  that  the  heads  of  the 
Wirths  have  rolled  on  the  scaffold,  Zurich  will  reply  by  the 
abolition  of  the  mass.  The  more  Rome  increases  her  cruelties, 
the  more  will  the  Reformation  see  her  power  increase. 

On  the  llth  April,  1525,  the  three  pastors  of  Zurich  presented 
themselves,  with  Megancler  and  Oswald  Myconius,  before  the 
great  council,  and  petitioned  for  the  re-establishment  of  the  Lord's 
Supper.  Their  speech  was  grave;1  all  minds  were  solemnised; 
every  one  felt  the  importance  of  the  resolution  which  the  council 
was  called  to  take.  The  mass,  that  mystery  which,  for  more  than 
three  centuries,  was  the  soul  of  the  religious  service  of  the  Latin 
Church,  behoved  to  be  abolished ;  the  corporal  presence  of  Christ 
behoved  to  be  declared  an  illusion,  and  the  illusion  itself  made 
palpable  to  the  people.  To  resolve  on  this  required  courage,  and 
•there  were  men  in  the  council  who  shuddered  at  the  very  idea 
of  it.  Joachim  Am-Griit,  mider-secretary  of  State,  terrified 
s.t  the  bold  demand  of  the  pastors,  opposed  it  with  all  his  might. 
"  These  words — TJiis  is  my  body,"  said  he,  "  irresistibly  prove 

1  Und  vermantend  die  ernstlich.      (Bull.  Chr.  p  263.) 


that  the  bread  is  the  body  of  Christ  himself."  Zuingiius  observed, 
that  in  the  Greek  language  •*»  (is)  is  the  only  word  to  express 
signifies;  and  he  quoted  several  instances  in  which  this  word  is 
employed  in  a  figurative  sense.  The  great  council  being  convinced, 
hesitated  not ;  the  evangelical  doctrines  had  penetrated  all  hearts. 
Besides,  now  that  the  Church  was  separated  from  Rome,  there  was 
some  satisfaction  in  making  it  as  much  so  as  possible,  and  in 
placing  a  deep  gulf  between  her  and  the  Kefonnation.  The 
council  accordingly  ordered  the  abolition  of  the  mass,  and  decreed 
that,  next  day,  Holy  Thursday,  the  Lord's  Supper  should  be  cele 
brated  in  accordance  with  apostolic  usage. 

Zuingiius  was  eagerly  occupied  with  these  thoughts;  and,  at 
night,  after  he  closed  his  eyes,  he  continued  searching  out  argu 
ments  to  oppose  his  adversaries.  The  subject  which  had  occupied 
him  so  much  during  the  day,  again  presented  itself  in  sleep.  He 
dreamt  that  he  was  disputing  with  Am-Griit,  and  could  not 
answer  his  leading  objection.  Suddenly  a  person  appeared,  and 
said  "Why  do  you  not  quote  Exodus,  xii,  11.  '  Ye  shall  eat  it 
in  haste ;  it  is  the  Lord's  passover"  '  Zuingiius  awoke,  leapt  out 
of  bed,  took  up  the  Septuagint  translation,  and  found  in  it  the  very 
word  urn  (is)  whose  meaning  here,  by  the  confession  of  all,  can 
only  be  signifies. 

Here,  then,  we  have  in  the  very  institution  of  the  passover  under 
the  Old  Testament,  the  meaning  for  which  Zuingiius  contends. 
How  then,  is  it  possible  to  avoid  the  conclusion  that  the  two  pas 
sages  are  parallel  ? 

The  next  day  Zuingiius  selected  this  passage  for  his  text,  and 
spoke  so  forcibly,  that  he  removed  all  doubts. 

This  circumstance,  which  is  so  naturally  explained,  and  the  ex 
pression  used  by  Zuingiius,  when  he  said,  that  he  did  not  re 
member  the  appearance  of  the  person  whom  he  saw  in  his  dream, 1 
have  given  rise  to  the  charge  that  the  Reformer  learned  his  doctrine 
from  the  devil. 

Altars  had  disappeared ;  and  their  places  were  supplied  by  single 
tables,  on  which  stood  the  bread  and  wine  of  the  eucharist,  while 
an  attentive  congregation  thronged  around.  There  was  something 
solemn  in  the  numbers.  On  Holy  Thursday,  the  young;  on  Friday 
(Passion  day),  adults ;  and  on  Easter,  the  old,  successively  cele 
brated  the  Lord's  death.2 

The  deacons  read  the  passages  of.  Scripture  which  refer  to  the 
sacrament,  the  pastors  addressed  an  earnest  exhortation  to  the 
flock,  urging  all  those  who,  by  continuing  in  sin,  would  defile  the 

1  Aterfuerit  an  albus  nihil  memini,  somnium  enim  narro.  Whether  he  was  black 
»r  white,  I  remember  not ;  it  was  a  dream.  3  Fusslin  Beytr.  iv,  p.  64. 


body  of  the  Lord  Jesus  to  abstain  from  this  sacred  supper.  The 
neople  knelt;  the  bread  was  handed  round  on  large  platters  or 
wooden  plates,  and  each  person  broke  a  portion ;  the  wine  was 
dispensed  in  wooden  cups — this  being  thought  to  approach  nearest 
to  the  first  institution.  Surprise  and  joy  filled  all  hearts. 

Thus  the  Reformation  was  effected  in  Zurich.  The  simple  cele 
bration  of  the  Lord's  death  seemed  to  have  again  infused  into  the 
Church  the  love  of  God,  and  the  love  of  the  brethren.  The  words 
of  Jesus  Christ  were  again  spirit  and  life.  While  the  different 
orders  and  different  parties  of  the  Church  of  Rome  had  never 
ceased  to  dispute  with  each  other,  the  first  effect  of  the  gospel,  on 
again  entering  the  Church,  was  to  establish  charity  among  the 
brethren.  The  love  of  the  primitive  ages  was  restored  to  Christen 
dom.  Enemies  were  seen  renouncing  old  and  inveterate  hatred, 
and  embracing  each  other,  after  having  eaten  together  of  the  bread 
of  the  eucharist.  Zuinglius,  delighted  at  these  touching  manifesta 
tions,  thanked  God  that  the  Lord's  Supper  was  again  performing 
those  miracles  of  love  which  the  sacrifice  of  the  mass  had  long 
ceased  to  produce.1 

"Peace  dwells  in  our  city,"  exclaimed  he;  "among  us  no  pre 
tence,  no  dissension,  no  envy,  no  quarrel.  Whence  can  such  agree 
ment  come  but  from  the  Lord;  and  because  the  doctrine  which  we 
preach  disposes  us  to  innocence  and  peace?2 

There  were  now  charity  and  unity,  but  not  uniformity.  Zuinglius, 
in  his  "  Commentary  on  True  and  False  Religion,"  which  he  dedi 
cated  to  Francis  I,  in  March,  1525,  the  year  of  the  battle  of  Pavia  3 
had  presented  some  truths,  in  the  manner  best  fitted  to  gain  a  re 
ception  from  human  reason,  in  this  following  the  example  of 
several  of  the  most  distinguished  scholastic  theologians.  Thus  he 
had  applied  the  term  disease  to  original  corruption,  and  restricted  that 
of  sin  to  the  actual  transgression  of  the  law.4  But  these  statements, 
though  they  called  forth  some  remonstrances,  did  not  interrupt 
brotherly  love ;  for  Zuinglius,  while  persisting  in  calling  original 
sin  a  disease,  added,  that,  in  consequence  of  it,  all  men  were  un 
done,  and  that  the  only  remedy  was  in  Jesus  Christ.5  There  was 
therefore  no  Pelagian  error  here. 

1  Mit  grossem  verwundern  viler  Liithen  und  noch  mit  vil  grossern  frbuden  deo 
glbubigen.  (Bull.  Chr.  p.  264.)  2  Expositio  fidei.  (Zw.  Op.  ii,  p.  241.)  »  Ut 

tranquillitatis  et  innocentiae  studiosos  reddat.     (Z\v.  Ep.  p;  390.)  *  De  Vera  et 

Falsa  Religione  Commentarius.     (Zw.  Op.  iii,  p.  145-325.)  5  Peccatum  ergo 

morbus  est  cognatus  nobis,  quo  fugimus  aspera  et  gravia,  sectamur  jucunda  et  volup. 
tuosa  :  secundo  loco  accipitur  peccatum  pro  eo  quud  contra  legem  fit.  (Ibid., p.  204. j 
First,  then,  sin  is  a  disease  natural  to  us,  by  which  we  shun  what  is  rough  and 
grievous,  pursue  what  is  pleasing  and  voluptuous  :  in  the  second  place,  sin  is  taken 
for  that  which  is  done  contrary  to  law.  6  Original!  inorbo  perdimur  omnes; 

remedio  vero  quod  contra  ipsum  invenit  Deus,  incolumitati  restituimur.  (De  Pecc. 
Origin.  Decl  ad  Urb.  Rhegium.  (Ibid.,  Op.  iii,  p.  632.)  We  are  all  lost  by  original 
disease,  but  restored  to  safety  by  the  remedy  which  God  has  provided  against  it. 


But  while  the  celebration  of  the  Supper  in  Zurich  was  accom 
panied  with  a  return  to  Christian  brotherhood,  Zuinglius  and  his 
friends  had  so  much  more  to  endure  externally,  from  the  irritation  of 
adversaries.  Zuinglius  was  not  only  a  Christian  leader ;  he  was 
also  a  true  patriot ;  and  we  know  with  what  zeal  he  combated 
enlistment,  pensions,  and  foreign  alliances.  He  was  convinced 
that  these  influences  from  abroad  destroyed  piety,  blinded  reason, 
and  sowed  discord.  But  his  loud  protestations  must  have  hurt  the 
progress  of  the  Reformation.  In  almost  all  the  cantons,  the  leaders 
who  received  foreign  pensions,  and  the  officers  who  led  the  Helvetic 
youth  to  battle,  formed  powerful  factions,  formidable  oligarchies 
which  attacked  the  Reformation,  not  so  much  from  any  view 
to  the  Church,  as  on  account  of  the  prejudicial  effect  it  threatened 
to  have  to  their  interests  and  honours.  They  had  already  gained  the 
day  at  Schwitz.  This  canton,  in  which  Zuinglius,  Leo  Juda,  and 
Myconius  had  taught,  and  which  might  have  been  expected  to 
follow  in  the  wake  of  Zurich,  was  again  all  at  once  opened  to 
mercenary  enlistments,  and  shut  against  the  Reformation. 

At  Zurich  even,  some  wretches,  stirred  up  by  foreign  intrigues, 
attacked  Zuinglius  in  the  middle  of  the  night,  threw  stones  at  his 
house,  broke  his  windows,  and  with  loud  cries  called  him  "  the  red 
Uli,  the  vulture  of  Glaris ;"  so  that  Zuinglius  was  awoke,  and  ran 
for  his  sword.4  This  circumstance  is  characteristic  of  the  man. 

But  these  isolated  attacks  could  not  paralyse  the  movement 
which  was  carrying  forward  Zurich,  and  beginning  to  shake 
Switzerland.  They  were  only  like  stones  thrown  in  to  arrest  a 
torrent.  The  waters,  rising  on  every  side,  threatened  to  break 
down  the  strongest  obstacles. 

The  Bernese  having  declared  to  the  Zurichers  that  several  states 
had  refused  to  sit  with  them  in  diet  in  future.  "  Very  well,"  re 
plied  those  of  Zurich,  calmly  raising  their  hands  to  heaven,  as  the 
men  of  Rutli  in  former  days,  "  we  have  a  firm  assurance  that  God 
the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Spirit,  in  whose  name  the  Confederation 
was  formed,  will  not  forsake  us,  but  will,  at  last,  in  mercy,  give 
us  a  seat  beside  His  Sovereign  Majesty."  2  With  such  a  faith  the 
Reformation  had  nothing  to  fear.  But  will  it  gain  similar  victories 
in  the  other  states  of  the  Confederation  ?  Will  not  Zurich  be  left 
alone  in  favour  of  the  Word?  Will  Berne,  Basle,  and  other 
cantons  besides,  remain  subject  to  the  power  of  Rome  ?  We  shall 
now  see.  Let  as  turn  then  towards  Berne,  and  study  the  progress 
of  the  Reformation  in  the  most  influential  state  of  the  Confedera 

1  Tnterea  sursrere  Zuinglius  ad  ensem  suum.    (Zw.  Op.  iii,  p.  411.)  a  Bey  ihm 

".uletzt  sitzen.  (Kirclihof'er.  Ref.  v.  Bern.  p.  55.) 



Berne—The  Provost  of  Watteville— First  Successes  of  the  Reformation— Ilaller  at 
the  Convent— Accusation  and  Deliverance— The  Monastery  of  Kbnigsfeld— Mar 
garet  of  Watteville  to  Zuinglius — .The  Convent  open — Two  opposite  Champions — 
Clara  May  and  the  Provost  of  Watteville. 

No  where  was  the  struggle  to  be  keener  than  at  Berne,  where 
the  gospel  had  at  once  powerful  friends  and  formidable  foes.  At 
the  head  of  the  friends  of  the  Reformation  stood  banneret  John 
Weingarten,  Bartholomew  May,  member  of  the  little  council,  his 
sons,  Wolfgang  and  Claudius,  his  grandchildren,  James  and  Bene 
dict,  and,  above  all,  the  family  of  Watteville.  The  avoyer  James 
Watteville,  who  had,  from  1512,  filled  the  first  place  in  the  re 
public,  had  early  read  the  writings  of  Luther  and  Zuinglius,  and 
had  often  conversed  on  the  gospel  with  John  Haller,  pastor  at 
Alsentingen,  whom  he  had  protected  against  his  persecutors. 

His  son,  Nicholas,  aged  thirty-one,  had  been  for  two  years 
provost  of  the  church  of  Berne ;  and,  as  such,  in  virtue  of  papal 
ordinances,  enjoyed  great  privileges.  Hence,  Berthold  Haller 
called  him  "  our  bishop."  l 

The  prelates  and  the  pope  were  exceedingly  desirous  to  bind 
him  to  the  interests  of  Rome,2  and  every  thing  might  have  been 
expected  to  estrange  him  from  the  knowledge  of  the  gospel;  but 
the  agency  of  God  was  more  powerful  than  the  flattery  of  man. 
Watteville  was  converted  from  darkness  to  the  pure  light  of  the 
gospel,  says  Zuinglius.3  The  friend  of  Berthold  Haller,  he  read  all 
the  letters  which  the  latter  received  from  Zuinglius,  and  could  not 
sufficiently  express  his  admiration.4 

The  interest  of  the  two  Wattevilles  who  were  at  the  head,  the 
one  of  the  State,  the  other  of  the  Church,  might  have  been  ex 
pected  to  carry  the  republic.  But  the  opposite  party  was  not  less 

Among  its  leaders  were  observed  the  schultheiss  of  Erlach,  ban 
neret  Willading,  and  several  patricians,  whose  interests  were  the 
same  as  those  of  the  convents  placed  under  their  administration. 
Behind  these  influential  individuals  were  an  ignorant  and  corrupt 
clergy,  who  called  the  evangelical  doctrine  "  an  invention  of  hell". 

1  Episcopus  noster  Vaditillius.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  285.)  2  Tantum  favoris  et  ami- 

cititc  qua3  tibi  cum  tanto  summorum  pontificum  et  potentissimorurn  episcoporum 
ccetu  hactenus  intercessit.  (Zw.  Op.  i,  old  Latin  Ed.  p.  305.)  You  have  had  so  much 
favour  and  friendship,  from  your  intercourse  hitherto,  with  so  many  pontiffs  and 
powerful  bishops.  *  Ex  obseuris  ignorantise  tenebris  in  amoenam  Evangelii 

lucem  productum.     (Ibid.)  *  Epistolas  tuoe  et  eruditionis  et  humanitatis  testes 

locupletissimas (Zw.  Ep.  p.  287.)    Your  letters  very  complete  evidence 

both  of  your  learning  and  accomplishments. 


In  the  month  of  July,  counsellor  Mullinen  said  in  full  assembly, 
"  Dear  confederates,  take  care  that  the  Reformation  do  not  gain 
upon  us.  In  Zurich,  people  are  not  safe  in  their  houses ;  they  re 
quire  soldiers  to  defend  them."  In  consequence,  application  was 
made  to  John  Heim,  the  lecturer  of  the  Dominicans  at  Mentz,  who 
came  to  Berne,  and  began  to  inveigh,  from  the  pulpit,  with  all  the 
eloquence  of  St.  Thomas,  against  the  Reformation.1 

Thus  the  two  parties  were  arrayed  against  each  other,  the  strug 
gle  seemed  inevitable,  and  even  the  result  not  doubtful.  In  fact,  a 
common  faith  united  a  portion  of  the  people  to  the  most  distin 
guished  families  of  the  state.  Berthold  Haller,  full  of  confidence 
in  the  future,  exclaimed,  "  Provided  God's  anger  is  not  turned 
against  us,  it  is  impossible  that  the  Word  of  God  can  be  banished 
from  this  town,  for  the  Bernese  are  hungering  for  it."  2 

Shortly  after,  two  acts  of  the  government  seemed  to  throw  the 
balance  in  the  favour  of  the  Reformation.  The  Bishop  of  Lausanne 
having  announced  an  episcopal  visitation,  the  council  caused  the 
provost  Watteville  intimate  to  him  that  the  would  have  to  dispense 
with  it.3  And,  at  the  same  time,  the  councils  of  Berne  issued  an 
ordinance,  which,  while  it  apparently  made  some  concession  to  the 
enemies  of  the  Reformation,  consecrated  its  principles.  They  de 
creed  that  the  Holy  Gospel,  and  the  doctrine  of  God,  as  it  could 
be  proved  from  the  books  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament,  should 
be  preached  freely  and  openly,  and  that  nothing  should  be  said  of 
any  doctrine,  dispute  or  writing,  proceeding  from  Luther  or  other 
teachers.4  The  surprise  of  the  adversaries  of  th  e  Reformation  was 
great  when  they  saw  the  evangelical  ministers  loudly  appealing  to 
this  ordinance.  This  decree,  which  was  the  basis  of  all  which  fol 
lowed,  was  the  legal  commencement  of  the  Reformation  in  Berne. 
There  was  thenceforward  more  decision  in  the  movement  of  this 
state,  and  Zuinglius,  whose  eye  was  attentive  to  all  that  took  place 
in  Switzerland,  could  write  to  the  provost  Watteville,  UAH 
Christians  rejoice  because  of  this  faith  which  the  pious  town  of* 
Berne  has  just  received."  5  "  The  cause  is  that  of  Christ,"  ex 
claimed  the  friends  of  the  gospel ;  6  and  they  devoted  themselves 
to  it  with  still  greater  courage. 

The  enemies  of  the  Reformation,  alarmed  at  these  first  advan 
tages,  formed  their  phalanx,  and  resolved  to  strike  a  blow  whici? 
would  ensure  the  victory.  They  conceived  the  project  of  disen- 

1  Suo  Thomistico  Marte  omnia  invertere.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  287.)  To  overturn  every  thing 
by  his  Thomistical  prowess.  2  Famem  verbi  Bernates  habent.  (Ibid.,  p.  295.] 

8  Ut  nee  oppidum,  nee  pagos  Bernatum  visitare  prsetendat  omnino.  (Ibid.)  That 
he  should  not  propose  at  all  to  visit  either  the  town  or  country  of  the  Bernese. 

4  Alein  das  heilig  Evangelium  und  die  Jeer  Gottes  frey,  offentlich  und  unverborgen. 
(Bull.  Chr.  p.  111.)  5  Alle  Christen  sich  allenthalben  frbuwend  des  Glauberiv 

.  ,  ,  (Zw.  Op.  i,  p.  426.)  6  Cbristi  negotium  agitur.  (Zw.  Ep.  9th  May,  1523. 


cumbering  themselves  of  those  ministers  whose  audacious  eloquence 
subverted  the  most  ancient  customs.  A  favourable  opportunity 
soon  occurred.  There  was  in  Berne,  at  the  place  now  occupied 
by  the  hospital  of  the  Isle,  a  convent  of  nuns  of  St.  Dominic,  de 
dicated  to  St.  Michael.  The  day  of  this  archangel  (29th  Septem 
ber)  was  a  great  festival  in  the  monastery.  This  year  it  was  at 
tended  by  several  ecclesiastics,  among  others,  by  Wittembach  of 
Bienne,  Sebastian  Meyer,  and  Berthold  Haller.  Having  entered 
into  conversation  with  the  nuns,  among  whom  was  Clara,  daugh 
ter  of  Claudius  May,  one  of  the  props  of  the  Reformation,  Haller 
said  to  her,  in  presence  of  her  grandmother,  "  The  merits  of  the 
monastic  state  are  imaginary,  whereas  marriage  is  an  honourable 
state,  having  been  instituted  by  God  himself."  Some  nuns,  to 
whom  Clara  related  the  conversation  of  Berthold,  raised  cries  of 
terror.  It  was  soon  circulated  in  the  town  ;  "  Haller  maintains 
that  all  nuns  are  children  of  the  devil."  .  .  .  The  opportunity  sought 
by  the  enemies  of  the  Reformation  had  arrived;  they  appeared 
before  the  lesser  council,  and  referred  to  an  ancient  ordinance, 
which  bore  that  any  person  carrying  off  a  nun  from  the  monastery 
should  lose  his  head,  but  asked,  "  for  a  mitigation  of  the  sentence," 
and  that  it  should  be  considered  sufficient  without  hearing  the 
three  ministers  to  banish  them  for  life.  The  lesser  council  acceded 
to  the  petition,  and  the  matter  was  speedily  carried  before  the 
great  council. 

Thus  Berne  was  on  the  eve  of  being  deprived  of  her  Reformers. 
The  intrigues  of  the  papal  party  had  prevailed.  But  Rome, 
though  she  triumphed  when  she  addressed  the  oligarchs,  was  beaten 
before  the  people  and  their  representatives.  No  sooner  had  the 
names  of  Haller,  Meyer,  and  Wittembach,  the  men  whom  all  Swit 
zerland  venerated,  been  pronounced  in  the  great  council,  than  a 
powerful  opposition  was  manifested  to  the  lesser  council  and 
the  clergy.  "  We  cannot,"  exclaimed  Tillman,  "  condemn  the 
accused  without  hearing  them.  Their  testimony  is  surely  as  good 
as  that  of  some  women."  The  ministers  were  then  called.  It  was 
felt  difficult  to  dispose  of  the  affair.  At  length  John  of  Wein- 
garten  said,  "  Let  us  give  credit  to  both  parties."  It  was  so  de 
cided.  The  ministers  were  discharged,  with  a  request,  however,  to 
meddle  only  with  the  pulpit  and  not  with  the  cloister.  But  the 
pulpit  was  sufficient  for  them.  The  efforts  of  the  enemy  had  re 
dounded  to  their  disgrace.  The  Reformation  had  gained  a  great 
victory.  Accordingly,  one  of  the  patricians  exclaimed,  "  Now 
that  everything  is  said,  Luther's  affair  must  go  forward."  * 

1  Es  ist  nun  gethan.  Deo  Lutherische  Handel  muss  vorgehen.  (Anshelm.  Wirtz. 
K.  G.  V.  p.  290.) 



It  did,  in  fact,  go  forward,  and  even  in  places  where  it  might 
have  been  least  expected.  At  Konigsfeld,  near  the  castle  of  Haps- 
burg,  stood  a  monastery  adorned  with  all  the  monastic  magnifi 
cence  of  the  middle  ages,  and  containing  the  ashes  of  several  mem 
bers  of  the  illustrious  house  which  has  given  so  many  emperors  to 
Germany.  Here  the  greatest  families  of  Switzerland  and  Suabia 
made  their  daughters  take  the  veil.  ISfot  far  from  this  spot,  on 
1st  May,  1308,  the  Emperor  Albert  had  fallen  under  the  dagger 
of  his  nephew,  John  of  Suabia,  and  the  beautiful  painted  window  of 
the  church  of  Konigsfeld  represented  the  fearful  punishments 
which  had  been  inflicted  on  the  relations  and  vassais  of  the  guilty 
parties.  Catherine  of  Waldburg-Truchsess,  abbess  of  the  convent, 
at  the  period  of  the  ^Reformation,  counted  among  her  nuns  Beatrice 
of  Landenberg,  sister  of  the  Bishop  of  Constance,  Agnes  of  Mulli- 
nen,  Catherine  of  Bonnstetten,  and  Margaret  of  Watteville,  the 
provost's  sister.  The  liberty  which  this  convent  enjoyed,  and 
which,  at  a  former  period  had  led  to  criminal  irregularities,  allowed 
the  introduction  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  and  the  writings  of  Luther 
and  Zuinglius.  In  a  short  time  matters  assumed  an  entirely  new 
appearance.  Near  the  cell  to  which  Queen  Agnes,  the  daughter 
of  Albert,  retired,  besprinkled  with  blood,  as  it  had  been  "  May- 
dew,"  and  where,  spinning  wool  or  working  embroidery  to  orna 
ment  the  church,  she  had  mingled  acts  of  devotion  and  thoughts 
of  vengeance,  Margaret  Watteville  had  only  thoughts  of  peace ; 
read  the  Scriptures,  and  mingled  salutary  ingredients  to  compose 
an  excellent  electuary.  Then,  composing  herself  in  her  cell,  the 
young  nun  ventured  on  the  bold  step  of  writing  to  the  teacher  of 
Switzerland.  Her  letter  shows  better  than  any  observations  could 
do,  the  Christian  spirit  which  animated  those  pious  females,  who 
have  been,  and  still,  even  in  our  day,  are  so  much  calumniated. 

"  Grace  and  peace  through  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  be  ever  given 
and  multiplied  to  you,  by  God  our  Heavenly  Father,"  said  the  nun 
of  Konigsfeld  to  Zuinglius.  "  Very  learned,  reverend,  and  dear 
Sir,  I  beseech  you  not  to  be  oifended  with  the  letter  which  I  write  to 
you.  The  love  which  is  in  Christ  urges  me  to  do  it,  especially 
since  I  have  learned  that  the  doctrine  of  salvation  grows  from  day 
to  day  by  your  preaching  of  the  Word  of  God.  Wherefore,  I  offer 
up  thanks  to  God  Almighty  for  enlightening  us  anew,  and  sending 
us,  by  his  Holy  Spirit,  so  many  heralds  of  his  Holy  Word;  at  the 
same  time,  I  earnestly  beseech  Him  to  clothe  you  with  His  might, 
you  and  all  those  who  proclaim  His  glad  tidings,  that  arming  you 
against  all  the  enemies  of  the  truth,  He  may  make  His  Divine 
Word  grow  in  every  heart.  Very  learned  Sir,  I  venture  to  send 
^you  this  small  token  of  my  affection.  Deign  not  to  despise  it. 


It  is  the  gift  of  Christian  charity.  If  this  electuary  does  you  good, 
and  you  have  any  wish  for  more,  let  me  know;  it  would  give  me 
great  delight  to  do  something  that  might  be  agreeable  to  you.  I 
am  not  alone  in  this.  The  feeling  is  common  to  all  who  love  the 
gospel  in  our  convent  of  Kbnigsfeld.  They  present  their  salutations 
in  Jesus  Christ  to  your  reverence,  and  we  all  together,  without 
ceasing,  recommend  you  to  His  mighty  protection.1 

"  Saturday  before  Laetare/1523." 

Such  was  the  pious  letter  of  the  nun  of  Kb'nigsfeld  to  the  teacher 
of  Switzerland. 

A  convent,  into  which  gospel  light  had  thus  penetrated,  could 
not  long  continue  the  practices  of  monastic  life.  Margaret  Watte- 
ville,  and  her  sisters,  persuaded  that  they  could  serve  God  better 
in  their  families  than  in  the  cloister,  asked  leave  to  quit  it.  The 
council  of  Berne,  in  alarm,  first  tried  to  bring  the  nuns  to  reason ; 
the  provincial  and  the  abbess  had  recourse  by  turns  to  threats  and 
promises.  But  the  sisters,  Margaret,  Agnes,  Catherine,  and  their 
friends  were  immoveable.  Next  the  rules  of  the  convent  were  re 
laxed.  The  nuns  were  exempted  from  fasts  and  matins,  and 
their  income  was  increased ;  but  they  replied  to  the  council,  "  It  is 
not  liberty  of  the  flesh  we  ask,  but  liberty  of  the  spirit.  We,  your 
poor  and  innocent  prisoners,  ask  you  to  have  pity  on  us."  "  Our 
prisoners,  our  prisoners,"  exclaimed  banneret  Krauchthaler,  "  I 
wont  have  them  to  be  my  prisoners."  This,  from  one  of  the 
firmest  supporters  of  convents,  decided  the  council.  The  convent 
was  thrown  open,  and  shortly  after,  Catherine  Bonnstetten  mar 
ried  William  Diesbach. 

Still  Berne,  instead  of  frankly  arraying  itself  on  the  side  of  the 

Keformers,  kept  a  certain  middle  course,  and  endeavoured,  as  it 

were,  to  hold  the  balance  between  the  two  parties.     A  circumstance 

caused  it  to  lay  aside  this  equivocal  procedure.     Sebastian  Meyer, 

lecturer  to  the  Franciscans,  published  a  recantation  of  Eoman 

errors,  which  produced  a  great  sensation.    Pourtraying  the  life  of 

convents,  he  said,  "  Their  inmates  live  more  impurely,  fall  more 

frequently,  rise  more  tardily,  walk  more  uncertainly,  repose  more 

•  dangerously,  show  pity  more  rarely,  reform  more  slowly,  die  more 

;  desperately,  and  are  punished  more  severely."  2    At  the  moment 

when  Meyer  was  thus  declaring  against  cloisters,  John  Helm,  the 

Dominican  reader,  was  exclaiming  from  the  pulpit.     "  No;  Christ 

I  did  not,  as  the  evangelicals  teach,  give  satisfaction  to  his  Father 

once  for  all.     God  must  be  daily  reconciled  with  men  by  the  sac- 

1  Cujus  prsesidio  auxilioque  prscsentissimo,  nos  vestram  dignitatem  assidue  com- 
mendamus.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  280.)  2  Langsamer  gereiniget,  verzvveifelter  stirbt 

barter  verdamniet.    (Kirchhofer  Reform,  v.  Bern.  p.  48.) 


rifice  of  the  mass,  and  good  works."    Two  citizens  who  were  in 
the  church,  got  up,  and  said,  "  It  is  not  true."    This  led  to  great 
noise.     Heim  stood  mute.     Several  urged  him  to  continue,  but  he 
came  down  from  the  pulpit  without  finishing  his  discourse.    The  - 
next  day  the  great  council,  with  one  blow,  struck  both  Rome  and 
the  Reformation,  banishing  from  the  town  the  two  great  contro 
versialists,  Meyer  and  Heim.  "  They  are  neither  clear  nor  muddy,"1  j 
it  was  said  of  the  Bernese,  playing  on  the  word  Luther,  which,  in 
old  German,  means  clear? 

But  vain  was  the  attempt  to  suppress  the  Reformation  in  Berne. 
It  was  making  progress  in  every  direction.  The  nuns  of  the  mo 
nastery  of  the  Isle  had  not  forgotten  Haller's  visit.  Clara  May, 
and  several  of  her  friends,  anxiously  asking  what  they  ought  to  do,  ' 
wrote  to  the  learned  Henry  Bullinger,  who  replied, "  St.  Paul  enjoins 
young  women  not  to  make  vows,  but  to  marry ;  and  not  live  in  idle 
ness,  under  a  false  semblance  of  piety.  (]  Tim.  v,  13, 14.)  Follow 
Jesus  in  humility,  charity,  patience,  purity,  and  honesty."  1  Clara, 
seeking  help  from  above,  resolved  to  follow  this  advice,  and  quit  a 
life  contrary  to  the  Word  of  God,  invented  by  man,  and  fraught  with 
seduction  and  sin.  Her  father,  Bartholomew,  who  had  passed  fifty 
years  on  battle  fields  and  in  councils,  rejoiced  when  he  learned  liis 
daughter's  resolution.  Clara  quitted  the  convent. 

The  provost,  Nicolas  Watteville,  whose  whole  interest  bound 
him  to  the  Roman  hierarchy,  and  who,  on  the  first  vacancy  in 

1  Dass  sie  weder  luther  noch  triih  seyen.     (Kirchofer's  Ref.,  v,  Bern.,  p.  50.) 

2  Romish  writers,  in  particular  M.  Haller,  have  quoted  from  Salat  and  T.  Tschudi, 
enemies  of  the  Reformation,  a  pretended  letter  of  Zuinglius  addressed  at  this  time  to 
Kolb,  at  Berne.  It  is  as  follows  : — "  Salvation  and  blessing  from  God  our  Lord.    Dear 
Francis,  move  softly  in  the  affair  :  throw  the  bear  at  first  only  one  sour  pear  among 
several  sweet  ones — throw  two,  then  three.     After  he  has  begun  to  eat,  keep  always 
throwing  more,  sour  and  sweet,  pell-mell ;  at  last  shake  out  the  whole  bag,  soft,  hard, 
sweet,  sour,  and  unripe.    He  will  eat  them  all,  and  no  longer  allow  any  one  to  take 
them  from  him, or  drive  him  away.— Zurich,  Monday  before  St.  George,  1525. 

''Your  servant  in  Christ,  ULE.ICH  ZUINGLIUS." 

There  are  decisive  reasons  against  the  authenticity  of  this  letter.  I.  In  1525,  Kolb  was 
pastor  at  Wertheimer.  He  did  isot  come  to  Berne' till  1527.  (See  Zw.,  Ep.  p.  521.)  M.  is  true,  substitutes  1527  for  1525,  but  very  arbitrarily.  The  object  of  the  cor 
rection,  no  doubt  is  easily  seen  ;  but  unfortunately,  M.  Haller,  in  making  it,  contra 
dicts  Salat  and  Tschudi,  who  though  they  do  not  agree  as  to  the  day  on  which  this  letter 
was  spoken  of  in  the  Diet,  agree  as  to  the  year,  both  making  it  1525.  II.  There  is  a 
difference  as  to  the  mode  in  which  the  letter  was  procured.  One  account  is,  that  it  was 
intercepted,  another,  that  Kolb's  parishioners  communicated  it  to  an  inhabitants  of 
the  small  cantons,  who  happened  to  be  at  Berne.  III.  The  original  is  in  German, 
whereas  Zuinglius  always  wrote  in  Latin  to  his  literary  friends  ;  besides,  he  ad 
dressed  them  as  their  brother,  not  as  their  servant.  IV.  Any  reader  of  the  letters  of 
Zuinglius  must  see  that  his  style  is  the  most  opposite  possible  to  that  of  the  pretended 
letter.  Never  would  Zuinglius  have  written  a  letter  to  say  so  little  ;  his  epistles  are 
usually  long  and  full  of  news.  To  call  the  little  pleasantry  picked  up  by  Salat  a  letter, 
is  mere  mockery.  V.  Salat  deserves  little  confidence  as  a  historian,  and  Tschudi 
appears  to  bave  copied  him  with  slight  variations.  It  maybe  that  an  inhabitant 
of  the  small  cantons  received  from  some  inhabitant  of  Berne  the  letter  of  Zuinglius 
to  Haller,  (of  which  we  have  spoken  in  our  second  volume,)  where  Zuinglius  very  hap 
pily  employs  the  comparison  of  the  bear,  which  is  met  with  in  all  the  authors  of  that 
time.  This  may  have  suggested  to  some  wit  the  idea  of  inventing  this  spurious  letter 
and  addressing  it  to  Kolb  as  from  Zuinglius.  3  Euerem  Herrn  Jesu  nachfolget 

j»  Demuth.    (Kirch.  Ref.,  v,  B.  60.) 



Switzerland,  must  have  risen  to  the  episcopal  bench,  also  renounced 
his  honours,  his  benefices,  and  his  hopes,  to  keep  a  pure  conscience, 
and,  breaking  off  all  the  ties  by  which  the  popes  had  tried  to 
entwine  him,  he  entered  the  state  of  marriage  instituted  by  God 
from  the  beginning  of  the  creation.  Nicolas  Watteville  married 
Clara  May,  and  his  sister  Margaret,  the  nun  of  Kb'nigsfeld,  was, 
about  the  same  time,  united  to  Lucius  Tscharner  of  Coire.1 


Basle — (Ecolampadius — He  goes  to  Augsburg — He  enters  the  Convent— -He  returns 
to  Sickingen — Returns  to  Basle — Ulric  You  Hutten— His  projects — Last  Effort  of 
Chivalry — Hutteii  dies  at  Uffnan. 

Thus  every  thing  gave  intimation  of  the  triumphs  which  the 
Reformation  was  shortly  to  gain  in  Berne.  A  city  of  no  less  im 
portance,  and  at  this  time  the  Athens  of  Switzerland — Basle — 
began  also  to  prepare  for  the  great  combat  which  signalises  the 
sixteenth  century. 

Each  town  of  the  Confederation  had  its  peculiar  aspect.  Berne  was 
the  city  of  great  families ;  and  there  the  question  was  apparently  to  be 
decided  in  favour  of  the  party  who  should  gain  certain  of  the  leading 
men  of  the  city.  At  Zurich  the  ministers  of  the  Word,  as  Zuin- 
glius,  Leo  Juda,  Myconius,  Schmidt,  drew  after  them  a  powerful 
community  of  citizens.  Lucerne  was  the  town  of  arms  and 
military  enlistments.  Basle  that  of  knowledge  and  printing.  Erasmus, 
the  head  of  the  republic  of  letters  in  the  sixteenth  century,  had 
fixed  his  residence  in  it,  and,  preferring  the  liberty  which  he  here 
enjoyed,  to  the  seductive  invitations  of  popes  arid  kings,  had  become 
the  centre  of  a  large  circle  of  literary  men. 

But  a  humble,  meek,  and  pious  man,  inferior  in  genius  to  Erasmus, 
was  soon  to  exercise  over  the  town  a  more  powerful  influence  than 
that  of  the  prince  of  schools.  Christopher  Utenheim,  Bishop  of 
Constance,  in  concert  with  Erasmus,  sought  to  gather  round  him 
men  fitted  to  accomplish  a  kind  of  intermediate  Reformation. 
With  this  view  he  gave  an  invitation  to  Capito  and  CEcolampadius. 
In  the  latter  there  was  somewhat  of  the  monk,  which  often  annoyed 
the  illustrious  philosopher.  But  CEcolampadius  soon  became  enthu 
siastically  attached  to  him,  and  perhaps  would  have  lost  all  his 
independence  in  this  close  relation,  had  not  Providence  removed 


Zw,  Ep.,  Annotatio,  p.  451.    From  this  union  the  Tscharucrs  of  Berne  are  de- 

Q  K 


him  from  his  idol.  In  1517,  he  returned  to  Weinsberg,  his  native 
town,  and  was  shocked  with  the  irregularities  and  profane  jests  of 
the  priests.  He  has  left  us  a  fine  memorial  of  the  grave  spirit 
which  then  animated  him  in  his  celebrated  work  "  on  the  Easter 
Merriment"  which  appears  to  have  been  written  about  this  time.1 

Having  been  called,  towards  the  end  of  1518,  to  Augsburg,  as 
preacher  of  the  cathedral,  he  found  this  town  still  agitated  by  the 
famous  interview  which  had  taken  place  there  in  May,  between 
Luther  and  the  papal  legate.  It  was  necessary  to  take  a  part  for 
or  against :  (Ecolampadius,  without  hesitation,  declared  for  the 
Reformer.  This  frankness  soon  raised  up  a  keen  opposition  against 
him,  and,  being  convinced  that  his  timidity,  and  the  weakness  of 
his  voice,  would  not  allow  him  to  succeed  in  the  world,  he  began 
to  look  around,  and  fixed  his  eye  on  a  neighbouring  convent  of 
monks  of  St.  Bridget,  celebrated  for  their  piety,  and  their  profound 
and  liberal  studies.  Feeling  the  want  of  repose,  leisure,  rest,  and 
prayer,  he  turned  toward  these  monks,  and  asked  them,  "  Can  one 
live  with  you  according  to  the  Word  of  God?"  They  having 
assured  him  that  this  could  be  done,  (Ecolampadius  crossed  the 
threshold  of  the  convent  on  the  23rd  April,  1520,  but  under  the 
express  condition  that  he  was  free  should  ever  the  service  of  God 
call  him  elsewhere. 

It  was  well  that  the  future  Reformer  of  Basle  should,  like  Luther, 
know  this  monastic  life,  which  was  the  highest  expression  of  Roman 
Catholicism.  But  he  found  no  repose :  his  friends  blamed  the 
step ;  and  he  himself  declared  openly  that  Luther  was  nearer  the 
truth  than  his  opponents.  Hence  Dr.  Eck,  and  other  Roman  doc 
tors,  followed  him  with  menaces  even  into  his  calm  retreat. 

At  this  time  (Ecolampadius  was  neither  one  of  the  Reformed, 
nor  a  follower  of  Rome.  He  wished  a  kind  of  purified  Catholicism, 
which  no  where  exists  in  history,  but  the  idea  of  which  has  served 
many  as  a  kind  of  stepping-stone.  He  set  about  correcting  the 
statutes  of  his  order  by  the  Word  of  God.  "  I  pray  you,"  said  he 
to  the  friars,  "  don't  esteem  your  ordinances  more  than  the  com 
mandments  of  the  Lord/'  The  monks  replied,  "  We  wish  no  other 
rale  than  that  of  the  Saviour.  Take  our  books,  and  mark,  as  in 
the  immediate  presence  of  Christ,  whatever  you  find  contrary  to  his 
Word."  (Ecolampadius  began  the  task,  but  found  it  painfully 
wearisome.  "Almighty  God!"  he  exclaimed,  "what  abomina 
tions  has  not  Rome  approved  in  these  statutes  ! " 

No  sooner  had  he  pointed  out  some  of  these  than  the  Avrath  of  the 
fri  ars  began  to  be  kindled.  ' '  Heretic,"  they  exclaimed :  ' '  apostate, 
you  deserve  a  dark  dungeon  till  the  end  of  your  days."  He  was 

1  Herzng,  Studien  und  Kritiken,  1840,  p.  334. 


excluded  from  the  common  prayers.  But  the  danger  was  still 
greater  from  without.  Eck  and  his  people  had  not  abandoned  their 
projects.  In  three  days  he  was  told  he  was  to  be  arrested.  He 
went  to  the  friars,  and  said  to  them,  "  Will  you  give  me  up  to 
assassins?"  The  monks  were  speechless  and  irresolute.  They 
were  unwilling  either  to  save  or  to  destroy  him.  At  this  moment 
some  friends  of  (Ecolampadms  arrived  near  the  cloister  .with  horses 
to  conduct  him  to  a  place  of  safety.  At  this  news  the  monks 
determined  on  allowing  the  departure  of  a  brother  who  had  brought 
trouble  into  their  convent.  u  Adieu!"  he  said,  and  was  free.  He 
had  been  nearly  two  years  in  the  cloister  of  St.  Bridget. 

(Ecolampadius  was  saved :  at  length  he  again  breathed.  Writ 
ing  to  a  friend  he  says  :  "  I  have  sacrificed  the  monk  and  got  back 
the  Christian."  But  his  flight  from  the  convent  and  his  heretical 
writings  were  every  where  known ;  every  where  also  people  stood 
aloof  on  his  approach.  He  knew  not  what  to  do,  when,  in  the  spring 
of  1522,  Sickingen  offered  him  an  asylum,  which  he  accepted. 

His  spirit,  which  had  been  weighed  down  by  monastic  bondage, 
took  a  new  spring  amid  the  noble  warriors  of  Ebernburg.  "Christ 
is  our  liberty,"  exclaimed  he,  "  and  what  men  regard  as  the  greatest 
misfortune — death  itself — is  to  us  true  gain."  He  forthwith  began 
to  read  the  gospels  and  epistles  to  the  people  in  German.  "  As 
soon  as  the  trumpets  resound,"  said  he,  "the  walls  of  Jericho 
crumble  away." 

Thus,  in  a  fortress  on  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  amid  boisterous 
knights,  the  most  modest  man  of  his  age  anticipated  that  transfor 
mation  of  worship  which  Christendom  was  soon  to  undergo.  Ebern- 
burg,  however,  was  too  narrow  for  him;  and  he  felt  the  want  of 
other  society  than  that  of  military  men.  The  bookseller,  Cratander, 
invited  him  to  Basle.  Sickingen  gave  his  permission ;  and  (Ecolam 
padius,  happy  to  revisit  his  old  friends,  arrived  on  the  16th  No 
vember,  1522.  After  living  for  some  time  as  a  simple  scholar, 
without  public  vocation,  he  was  appointed  vicar  of  the  church  of 
St.  Martin ;  and  perhaps  it  was  this  call  to  a  humble  and  unknown 
employment1  that  decided  the  Reformation  of  Basle.  Whenever 
(Ecolampadius  mounted  the  pulpit,  an  immense  crowd  filled  the 
church.2  At  the  same  time  the  public  lectures,  given  both  by  him 
and  Pellican,  were  crowned  with  so  much  success,  that  even 
Erasmus  was  obliged  to  exclaim,  " (Ecolampadius  triumphs."3 

In  fact,  says  Zuinglius,  this  meek  but  firm  man,  shed  around  him 
the  sweet  savour  of  Christ,  and  all  who  heard  him  made  progress  in 

1  Meis  sumtibus  non  sine  ccmtemptu  et  invidia.     (CEcol.  ad  P:rckh.  de  Eucharistia.) 

2  Dass  er  kein  Predigt  thate,  er  hatte  ein  machtig  Volk  darinn, — savs  Peter  llyf,  hi* 
eontemporav.v.    (Wirtz.,  v,  350.)  3  (Ecolampadius  apud  nos  triumphal;.    (Era* 
ad  Zuin.  Zvv.  Ep.  p.  31'J.) 

3  p 


the  truth.i  Often,  indeed,  the  news  spread  that  he  would  soon  be 
obliged  to  leave  both,  and  again  commence  his  adventurous  travels. 
His  friends,  particularly  Zuinglius,  were  in  great  alarm ;  but  the 
report  of  new  successes  gained  by  CEcolampadms,  soon  dissipated 
their  fears,  and  strengthened  their  hopes.  The  fame  of  his  labours 
even  reached  Wittemberg,  and  rejoiced  Luther,  who  daily  talked 
of  him  to  Melancthon.  Meantime  the  Saxon  Reformer  was  not 
without  uneasiness.  Erasmus  was  at  Basle,  and  Erasmus  was  the 
friend  of  GEcolampadius.  Luther  thought  it  his  duty  to  put  one 
whom  he  loved  on  his  guard.  "I  much  fear,"  he  wrote,  "that, 
like  Moses,  Erasmus  will  die  in  the  plains  of  Moab,  without  con 
ducting  us  into  the  land  of  promise."  2 

Erasmus  had  retired  to  Basle,  as  a  quiet  town,  situated  in  the 
centre  of  the  literary  movement,  and  from  the  bosom  of  which  he 
could,  by  means  of  the  printing-press  of  Frobenius,  act  upon  France, 
Germany,  Switzerland,  Italy,  and  England.  But  he  did  not  like 
to  be  disturbed,  and  if  he  felt  some  jealousy  at  (EcolampadiusT 
there  was  another  man  who  inspired  him  with  still  greater  alarm. 
TJlric  Von  Hutten  had  followed  (Ecolampadius  to  Basle.  For  a 
long  time  he  had  attacked  the  pope  as  one  knight  attacks 
another.  u  The  axe,"  said  he,  "  is  already  laid  to  the  root  of  the 
tree.  Germans,  yield  not  at  the  first  brunt  of  the  battle ;  the  die 
is  cast — the  enterprise  is  begun.  Liberty  for  ever !"  He  had  aban 
doned  Latin,  and  now  wrote  only  in  German  ;  for  it  was  the  people 
he  wished  to  address. 

His  ideas  were  grand  and  noble.  An  annual  assembly  of  bishops 
was,  according  to  him,  to  regulate  the  affairs  of  the  Church.  A 
Christian  constitution,  and,  above  all,  a  Christian  spirit,  was  to 
spread  from  Germany  as  formerly  from  Judea,  over  the  whole  world. 
Charles  V  was  to  have  been  the  young  hero  destined  to  realise  the,- 
golden  age ;  but  Hutten's  hopes  in  him  having  been  disappointed, 
he  had  turned  to  Sickingen,  and  asked  from  chivalry  what  the  empire 
refused.  Sickingen,  at  the  head  of  the  feudal  nobility,  had  played 
a  distinguished  part  in  Germany ;  but  the  princes  had  shortly  after 
besieged  him  in  his  castle  of  Landstein,  and  the  new  engines, 
cannon  and  bullets,  had  battered  down  those  old  walls  which  had 
been  accustomed  to  other  kinds  of  assault.  The  taking  of  Land- 
stein  had  been  the  final  defeat  of  chivalry,  the  decisive  victory  of 
artillery  over  lances  and  bucklers,  the  triumph  of  modern  times: 
over  the  middle  ages.  Thus,  the  last  exploit  of  knighthood,  was  to 
be  in  favour  of  the  Reformation — the  first  efforts  of  new  weapons 
and  wars  was  to  be  against  it.  The  steel  clad  men  who  fell  under 

1  Illi  magis  ac  magis  in  omni  bono  augescunt.    (Eras,  ad  Zwing.  Zw.  Ep.  p.  312J 

2  Et  in  terrain  promissionis  ducere  non  potest.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  353.) 


the  unexpected  force  of  bullets,  and  lay  among  the  ruins  of  Land- 
stein,  gave  place  to  other  knights.  Other  feats  of  arms  were  about 
to  commence.  A  spiritual  chivalry  succeeded  that  of  the  Du  Gues- 
clins  and  Bayards,  and  those  old  broken  battlements,  those  riined 
walls,  those  aspiring  heroes,  proclaimed'  still  more  forcibly  than 
Luther  was  able  to  do  that  it  was  not  by  such  allies  and  such  wea 
pons  that  the  gospel  of  the  Prince  of  Peace  would  gain  the  victory. 

With  the  downfall  of  Landstein  and  chivalry,  had  fallen  all 
Hiitten's  hopes.  Over  Sickingen's  dead  body  he  bade  adieu  to  all 
the  glorious  days  of  which  his  imagination  had  dreamed,  and,  losing 
all  confidence  in  man,  all  he  now  asked  was  a  brief  obscurity  and 
repose.  He  came  to  seek  them  in  Switzerland  beside  Erasmus. 
These  two  men  had  long  been  friends  ;  but  the  rude  and  boisterous 
knight,  disdaining  the  judgment  of  others,  always  used  to  lay  his 
hand  on  his  sword,  and,  attacking  right  and  left  all  whom  he  met, 
could  seldom  move  in  accordance  with  the  delicate  and  timid 
Erasmus,  with  his  refined  manners,  his  smooth  and  polished  ad 
dress,  his  eagerness  for  approbation,  and  his  readiness  to  make 
every  sacrifice  to  obtain  it,  fearing  nothing  in  the  world  so  much 
as  a  dispute. 

Hiitten  having  arrived  at  Basle  a  poor  sick  fugitive,  immediately 
inquired  for  his  old  Mend.  But  Erasmus  trembled  at  the  thought 
of  sharing  his  table  with  a  man  under  the  ban  of  the  pope  and  the 
emperor,  a  man  who  would  care  for  no  one,  borrow  money  of  him, 
and  doubtless  bring  after  him  a  crowd  of  those  "evangelists,"  of 
whom  Erasmus  was  always  becoming  more  afraid.1  He  refused 
to  see  him,  and,  shortly  after,  the  magistrates  of  Basle  begged  Hiitten 
to  leave  the  town.  Hutten,  mortified  and  irritated  against  his 
timid  friend,  retired  to  Mulhausen,  and  published  a  violent  philippic 
against  Erasmus,  who  wrote  a  very  clever  reply.  The  knight  had 
seized  the  sword  with  both  hands,  and  brought  it  down  with  force 
upon  his  adversary ;  the  scholar,  dexterously  slipping  aside,  had 
returned  the  strokes  of  the  sword  with  strokes  of  his  beak.2 

Hutten  behoved  again  to  fly.  He  arrived  at  Zurich,  where  he 
met  with  a  generous  reception  from  the  noble-minded  Zuinglius. 
But  cabals  obliged  him  to  quit  this  town  also,  and,  after  passing 
some  time  at  the  baths  of  Pfeffers,  he  repaired  with  a  letter  from 
the  Swiss  Reformer  to  the  house  of  pastor  John  Schnepp,  who  dwelt 
in  the  little  islet  of  Ufnau,  on  the  Lake  of  Zurich.  This  poor 
minister  received  the  poor  exiled  knight  with  the  most  touching 

1  Erasmus,  in  a  letter  to  Melancthon,  in  which  he  tries  to  excuse  himself,  thus 
writes  : — "  Ille  egens  et  omnibus  rebus  destitutus  qunerebat  nidum  aliquem  ubi  mo- 
veretur.  Erat  inihi  gloriosus  ille  miles  cum  sua  scabie  in  a?des  recipiendus  simulque 
recipiendus  ilk  chorus  titulo  Evangelicorum"  (Er.  Ep.  p.  949.)  "  In  want,  and  every 
way  destitute,  was  looking  out  for  some  plnce  where  he  might  nestle.  That  vain 
glorious  soldier,  with  his  itch,  was  to  be  received  into  the  house,  and  with  him  the 
med  Evangelicals."  -  Expostulatio  Ilutteni— Erasmisooiijjia. 


charity.  It  was  in  this  peaceful  and  unknown  retreat,  after  a 
most  agitated  life — banished  by  some,  pursued  by  others,  forsaken 
almost  by  all,  after  constantly  combating  superstition,  yet,  as  it 
would  seem,  without  even  possessing  the  truth,  Ulrick  von  Hutten, 
one  of  the  most  remarkable  minds  of  the  sixteenth  century,  died  in 
obscurity  towards  the  end  of  August,  1 523.  The  poor  pastor,  who  was 
skilful  in  the  healing  art,  had  in  vain  given  him  all  his  care.  With 
him  died  chivalry.  He  left  neither  money,  nor  furniture,  nor 
books — nothing  in  the  world  except  a  pen.1  Thus  was  the  hand 
of  iron  broken  that  had  presumed  to  support  the  ark  of  God. 


Erasmus  and  Luther — Uncertainty  of  Erasmus — Luther  to  Erasmus — Work  of 
Erasmus  against  Luther  on  Free  Will — Three  Opinions — Effect  on  Luther — Lu 
ther  on  Free  Will — The  Jansenists  and  the  Reformers — Homage  to  Erasmus—. 
Rage  of  Erasmus — The  Three  Days. 

There  was  a  man  in  Germany  more  formidable  to  Erasmus  than 
the  unfortunate  knight ;  this  was  Luther.  The  moment  had  arrived 
when  the  two  greatest  wrestlers  of  the  age  were  to  measure  their 
powers  in  close  combat.  The  two  Reformations  at  which  they 
aimed  were  very  different.  While  Luther  desired  an  entire  Re 
formation,  Erasmus,  a  friend  of  the  middle  course,  sought  to  obtain 
concessions  from  the  hierarchy,  which  might  again  unite  the  two 
extreme  parties.  The  vacillation  and  uncertainty  of  Erasmus  dis 
gusted  Luther.  He  said  to  him,  "  You  wish  to  walk  on  eggs 
without  crushing  them,  and  among  glasses  without  breaking 
them." l 

At  the  same  time,  to  the  vacillation  of  Erasmus,  he  opposed! 
complete  decision.  "  We  Christians,"  said  he,  "  ought  to  be  sure 
of  our  doctrine,  and  know  how  to  say  yes  or  no  without  hesitating. 
To  attempt  to  hinder  us  from  affirming  with  perfect  conviction 
what  we  believe,  is  to  deprive  us  of  faith  itself.  The  Holy  Spirit 
is  not  a  sceptic.2  He  has  written  in  our  hearts  a  firm  and  power 
ful  assurance,  which  makes  us  as  certain  of  our  faith,  as  we  are  ofi 
life  itself." 

These  words  at  once  tell  us  on  which  side  strength  lay.  Inj 
order  to  accomplish  a  religious  transformation,  there  must  be  a| 

1  Libros  nullos  habuit,  supellectilem  nullam,  prater  calamum.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  313.] 
a  Auf  Eyern  gehen  und  keinur  zutreten.     (L.  Op.  xix,  p.  11.)  3  Der  heilij 

(Jeist  ist  kein  Scepticus.    (Ibid.  p.  8.) 


firm  and  living  faith.     A  salutary  resolution  in  the  Church  never 
.will  proceed  from  philosophical  views  and  human  opinions.    To 

ertilise  the  earth  after  long  drought,  the  lightning  must  pierce  the 

.loud,  and  the  reservoirs  of  heaven  be  opened.  Criticism,  philo- 
sopliy,  history  even  may  prepare  the  paths  for  true  faith,  but 

annot  supply  its  place.  In  vain  do  you  clean  out  your  canals  and 
repair  your  embankments,  so  long  as  the  water  descends  not  from 
the  sky.  All  human  sciences  without  faith  are  only  canals  with 
out  water. 

Whatever  might  be  the  essential  difference  between  Luther  and 
Erasmus,  the  friends  of  Luther,  and  Luther  himself,  long  hoped  to 
see  Erasmus  united  with  them  against  Rome.  Sayings  which  his 
caustic  humour  let  fall  were  reported,  and  showed  his  disagree- 
iment  with  the  most  zealous  friends  of  Catholicism.  One  day,  for 
instance,  when  he  was  in  England,  he  had  a  keen  discussion  with 
feir  Thos.  More  on  transubstantiation.  "  Believe  that  you  have  the 
.body  of  Christ,"  aaid  More,  "  and  you  have  it  really."  Erasmus 
made  no  answer.  Shortly  after  he  left  the  banks  of  the  Thames, 
and  More  lent  him  his  horse  to  the  sea- side  ;  but  Erasmus  took 

t  with  him  to  the  continent.  As  soon  as  More  knew  of  it,  he 
reproached  him  in  the  keenest  terms.  Erasmus  only  answered  by 
sending  him  the  following  stanza : — 

Of  Christ's  body,  this  you  declared  the  creed  : 
"  Believe  you  have  it,  and  you  have  indeed." 
Apply  the  doctrine  to  your  missing  steed  ; 
Believe  you  have  it,  and  you  have  indeetL 

Erasmus  had  appeared  in  this  character  not  only  in  England 
and  Germany.  At  Paris  it  was  said,  "  Luther  has  only  widen 
ed  the  opening  of  the  door  of  which  Erasmus  had  previously  picked 
the  lock."  2 

The  situation  of  Erasmus  was  difficult.  In  a  letter  to  Zuinglius 
he  says,  "  I  Mill  not  be  unfaithful  to  the  cause  of  Christ,  at  least 
in  so  far  as  the  age  will  permit."3  In  proportion  as  he  saw 
Home  bestirring  herself  against  the  Reformation,  he,  from  pruden 
tial  motives,  drew  off.  He  was  applied  to  from  all  quarters — the 
pope,  the  emperor,  kings,  princes,  the  learned ;  and  even  his  most 
intimate  friends,  urged  him  to  write  against  the  Reformer.4  The 
pope  wrote  unto  him — "  No  work  would  be  more  agreeable  to 

1  "  Quod  mihi  dixisti  nuper  de  corpore  Christi : 

Crede  quod  habes  et  habes  ; 
Hoc  tibi  rescribo  tantum  de  tuo  caballo  : 
Crede  quod  habes  et  habes." 

(Paravicini,  Singularia.  p.  71.) 

2  Histoire  Cathol.<Je  notre  temps,  par  S.  Fontaine  de  1'ordre  de  St.  Francois,  Paris, 
1562.  3  Quantum  hoc  seculum  patitur.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  221.)  *  A  Pontifice,  a 

Caesare,  a  regibus  et  principibus,  a  doctissimis  etiam  et  carissimis  amicis  hue  provo- 
cor.  ffirasm.  Zw.  Ep.  p.  303.) 


God — none  more  worthy  of  yourself  and  your  genius."1  For  a 
long  time  Erasmus  resisted  these  solicitations ;  he  could  not  dis 
guise  from  himself  that  the  cause  of  the  Reformers  was  the  cause 
of  religion  as  well  as  of  letters.  Besides,  Luther  was  an  opponent 
with  whom  none  were  fond  of  engaging,  and  Erasmus  thought  he 
could  already  feel  the  redoubled  and  sturdy  blows  of  the  champion 
of  Wittemberg.  In  reply  to  a  theologian  of  Rome  he  wrote :  "It 
is  easy  to  say,  '  Write  against  Luther ;'  but  it  is  a  task  pregnant 
with  danger."  2  Thus  he  would,  and  yet  would  not. 

This  irresolute  conduct  of  Erasmus  subjected  him  to  the  attacks 
of  the  most  violent  men  of  both  parties.  Luther  himself  found  it 
difficult  to  reconcile  the  respect  which  he  had  for  the  learning  of 
Erasmus  with  the  indignation  which  he  felt  at  his  cowardice.  He 
resolved  to  escape  from  this  painful  condition,  and  in  April,  1524, 
wrote  him  a  letter,  which  he  gave  to  the  care  of  Camerarius.  "As 
yet,"  said  he,  "you  have  not  received  of  the  Lord  the  courage  ne 
cessary  to  march  with  us  to  give  battle  to  the  papists.  We  bear 
with  your  weakness.  If  letters  flourish,  if  they  open  to  all  the 
treasures  of  the  Scriptures,  it  is  a  gift  for  which  we  are  indebted, 
under  God,  to  you — a  magnificent  gift,  for  which  our  thanksgiv 
ings  ascend  to  heaven.  But  do  not  abandon  the  task  which  has 
been  imposed  on  you,  in  order  to  pass  into  our  camp.  "No  doubt 
your  eloquence  and  genius  would  be  useful  to  us ;  but  since  your 
courage  fails  you,  remain  where  you  are.  I  could  wish  that  our 
people  would  allow  your  old  age  to  slumber  peacefully  in  the  Lord. 
The  greatness  of  our  cause  has  long  transcended  your  powers.  But, 
on  the  other  hand,  my  dear  Erasmus,  desist  from  throwing  at  us 
so  many  handfuls  of  pungent  salt,  which  you  know  so  well  how  to 
disguise  under  flowers  of  rhetoric.  It  is  more  painful  to  be  slightly 
bitten  by  Erasmus,  than  to  be  ground  to  death  by  all  papists  put 
together.  Content  yourself  with  being  the  spectator  of  our  tra 
gedy  : 3  publish  no  book  against  me ;  I,  on  my  part,  will  publish 
none  against  you." 

Thus  Luther,  the  man  of  war,  asked  for  concord :  it  was  Eras 
mus,  the  man  of  peace,  who  disturbed  it. 

Erasmus  received  this  proceeding  on  the  part  of  the  Reformer  as 
the  greatest  of  insults,  and  if  he  had  not  already  resolved  to  write 
against  Luther,  it  is  probable  that  he  resolved  now.  He  replied, 
"  Perhaps  Erasmus,  by  writing  against  you,  will  do  more  service  to 
the  gospel  than  some  fools  who  write  for  you,4  and  who  do  not 
allow  me  to  be  any  longer  a  mere  spectator  of  this  tragedy. 

1  Nulla  te  et  ingenio.  eruditione,  eloquentiaque  tua  dignior  esse  potest.  (Adrianus 
Papa,  Ep.  Er.  p.  1202.)  2  Res  est  periculi  plena.  (Er.  Ep.  p.  758.)  3  Specta 

tor  tantum  sis  tragoedisc  nostras.    (L.  Ep.  ii,  p.  501.)  *  Quidam  stolidi  scribentes 

pro  tc.    (Unschuldige  Nachricht,  p.  545.) 


But  he  had  other  motives  also, 

Henry  VIII  of  England,  and  the  leading  men  of  that  kingdom, 
were  extremely  urgent  that  he  should  declare  publicly  against  the 
Reformation.  Erasmus,  during  a  moment  of  courage,  allowed  the 
promise  to  be  forced  from  him.  Besides,  his  equivocal  situation 
had  become  a  continual  torment  to  him  :  he  loved  repose,  but  the 
necessity  he  felt  of  continually  vindicating  himself  troubled  his  life  : 
he  loved  glory,  but  he  was  accused  of  fearing  Luther,  and  of  being 
too  feeble  to  answer  him  :  he  was  accustomed  to  the  first  place, 
but  the  little  monk  of  Wittemberg  had  dethroned  the  mighty  Eras 
mus.  He  behoved  then,  by  a  courageous  act,  to  conquer  back  the 
place  which  he  had  lost.  All  ancient  Christendom  was  imploring 
him  to  do  so.  Ability,  and  the  greatest  reputation  of  the  age, 
were  wanted  to  oppose  the  Reformation.  Erasmus  yielded. 

But  what  weapon  was  he  going  to  employ  ?  Will  he  cause 
the  thunders  of  the  Vatican  to  roar?  Will  he  defend  abuses  which 
are  the  disgrace  of  the  papacy  ?  Erasmus  could  not  do  so.  The 
great  movement  by  which  men's  minds  were  agitated,  after  the  death 
like  lethargy  which  had  lasted  for  so  many  ages,  filled  him  with  joy, 
and  he  would  have  feared  to  trammel  it.  Not  being  able  to  appear 
as  the  champion  of  Roman  Catholicism,  in  regard  to  the  additions 
which  it  has  made  to  Christianity,  he  undertook  to  defend  it  in  what 
it  has  cut  off.  In  his  attack  upon  Luther,  Erasmus  selected 
the  point  in  which  Catholicism  is  blended  with  rationalism — 
the  doctrine  of  free  will,  or  of  the  natural  power  of  man.  Thus, 
while  undertaking  the  defence  of  the  Church,  Erasmus  pleased  the 
men  of  the  world ;  while  battling  for  the  pope,  he  battled  also  for 
the  philosophers.  It  has  been  said  that  he  was  awkwardly  tram 
meled  by  an  obscure  and  useless  question.1  Luther,  the  Reformers, 
and  their  age,  thought  otherwise.  We  agree  with  them.  "I  must 
acknowledge,"  said  Luther,  "  that  in  this  combat  you  are  the  only 
one  who  has  seized  your  opponent  by  the  throat.  I  thank  you 
with  all  my  heart,  for  I  like  better  to  deal  with  that  subject  than 
with  all  those  secondary  questions  of  the  pope,  purgatory,  and  in 
dulgences,  with  which,  till  this  hour,  the  enemies  of  the  gospel 
have  pestered  me.2 

His  own  experience,  and  the  attentive  study  of  the  Holy  Scrip 
tures  and  of  St.  Augustin,  had  convinced  Luther  that  the  actual 
powers  of  man  so  incline  him  to  evil,  that  all  he  can  do  of  himself 
is  to  attain  to  a  certain  external  decency,  altogether  insufficient  in 
the  eyes  of  the  Deity.  At  the  same  time,  he  had  learned  that 

1  On  this  subject  M.  Nisard  says— Erasmi  Revue  des  deux  mondes,  iii,  p.  411, — 
"One  feels  humbled  for  our  species,  on  seeing  men  capable  of  grappling  with  eternal 
truths,  spending  their  lives  in  fencing  with  men  of  straw,  like  gladiators  making 
war  on  flies."  2  L.  Op.  xix.  p.  146. 

K  "2i 

God  gives  a  true  righteousness,  by  carrying  on  the  work  of  faith 
through  operation  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

This  doctrine  had  become  the  principle  of  his  religious  life,  the 
predominant  idea  in  his  theology,  and  the  point  on  which  the 
whole  Reformation  turned. 

While  Luther  maintained  that  every  thing  good  in  man  came 
from  God,  Erasmus  took  the  side  of  those  who  thought  that  this  good 
came  from  man  himself.  God  or  man  .  .  . — good  or  evil  .  .  . — 
these,  surely,  are  not  paltry  questions;  if  these  are  such  questions, 
they  must  be  sought  for  elsewhere. 

In  the  autumn  of  1524,  Erasmus  published  his  famous  work, 
entitled  "  Disquisition  on  Free  Will"  No  sooner  had  it  appeared 
than  the  philosopher  could  scarcely  credit  his  own  courage.  He 
trembled,  while,  .with  eyes  fixed  on  the  arena,  he  beheld  the 
gauntlet  which  he  had  just  thrown  down  to  his  opponent.  The 
die  is  cast,  "  wrote  he,  with  emotion,  to  Henry  VIII,"  the  book 

on  Free  Will  has  appeared This,  believe  me,  is  a 

daring  act.  I  expect  to  be  stoned But  I  console 

myself  by  the  example  of  your  majesty,  whom  the  wrath  of  those 
people  has  not  spared." 1 

His  alarm  soon  increased  to  such  a  degree,  that  he  bitterly  re 
gretted  the  step  he  had  taken.  "  Why  was  I  not  allowed,"  he 
exclaimed,  "  to  spend  my  age  in  the  garden  of  the  Muses  I 
Here  I  am,  at  sixty,  pushed  violently  forward  into  the  arena,  arid 

instead  of  the  lyre,  holding  the  cestus  and  net 'r 

"I  know,"  said  he  to  the  Bishop  of  Rochester,  "  that  in  writing 

on  free  will,  I  was  not  in  my  sphere You  congratulate 

me  on  my  triumphs Ah,  I  know  not  in  what  I 

triumph!  The  faction  (the  Reformation)  is  daily  increasing.2 
Was  it  then  my  destiny  that,  at  my  age,  I  was  to  be  transformed 
from  a  friend  of  the  Muses  into  a  miserable  gladiator  ?  "  .  . 

It  was  much,  doubtless,  for  the  timid  Erasmus  to  have  taken  the 
field  against  Luther.  But  still  he  was  far  from  having  given  proof 
of  great  hardihood.  He  seems,  in  his  book,  to  attribute  little  to 
the  will  of  man,  and  to  leave  the  greater  part  to  divine  grace ;  but, 
at  the  same  time,  he  chose  his  arguments  in  such  a  way  as  to  make 
it  be  believed,  that  man  does  'all,  and  God  does  nothing.  Not 
daring  to  express  his  thoughts  distinctly,  he  affirms  one  thing,  and 
proves  another ;  leaving  one  at  liberty  to  suppose  that  he  believed 
what  he  proved,  and  not  what  he  affirmed. 

He  distinguishes  three  opinions  opposed  in  different  degrees  to 
that  of  Pelagius.  "  Some,"  says  he,.  "  think  that  man  can  neither 

1  Jacta  est  alea    ....    audax,  mihi  crede,  facinus    ....    expecto  lapida- 

tioncMn.    (Er.  Ep.  p.   811.)  2  Quomodo  triumphans  nescio I'actio 

crc*v:u  in  dies  latius.    (Ibid.,  p.  809.) 


will  nor  begin,  far  less  accomplish  any  thing  that  is  good,  with 
out  special  and  continual  help  from  divine  grace.  This  opinion 
seems  probable  enough.  Others  teach  that  the  will  of  man  has 
power  only  to  do  evil,  and  that  grace  alone  performs  in  us  any 
thing  that  is  good  ;  and,  lastly,  there  are  some  who  maintain  that 
there  never  was  any  free  will,  either  in  man  or  angels,  either  in 
Adam  or  in  us,  whether  before  or  after  grace,  but  tljat  God  pro 
duces  in  man  both  good  or  evil,  and  that  every  thing  which  takes 
place,  happens  through  absolute  necessity.1 

Erasmus,  while  seeming  to  admit  the  first  of  these  opinions,  em 
ploys  arguments  which  militate  against  it,  and  which  may  be 
employed  by  the  most  decided  Pelagian.  Thus,  while  referring  to 
the  passages  of  Scripture,  in  which  God  presents  man  with  a  choice 
of  good  and  evil,  he  adds,  "  Man  then  must  will  and  choose  ;  for 
it  would  be  ridiculous  to  say  to  any  one,  Choose  !  if  it  were  not  in 
his  power  to  do  so." 

Luther  was  not  afraid  of  Erasmus.  "Truth,"  said  he,  "is 
mightier  than  eloquence.  The  victory  belongs  to  him  who  lisps 
the  truth,  and  not  to  him  who  is  eloquent  in  favour  of  falsehood."  2 

But  when  he  received  the  work  of  Erasmus,  he  found  the  book 
so  feeble,  that  he  hesitated  to  answer  it.  "What!"  said  he  to 
him,  "  so  much  eloquence  in  so  bad  a  cause  ;  one  would  say  it  was 
a  man  serving  up  mire  and  filth  on  gold  and  silver  plate.3  It  is 
impossible  to  get  hold  of  you  any  where.  You  are  like  an  eel 
which  slips  between  the  fingers  ;  or,  like  the  Proteus  of  the  poets, 
who  changes  in  the  very  hand  of  the  person  who  is  trying  to  bind 

Meanwhile,  as  Luther  did  not  answer,  the  monks  and  scholastic 
theologians  began  to  shout  :  "  Ah  !  well,  where  is  now  your 
Luther?  Where  is  the  great  Maccabeus?  Let  him  enter  the 
lists!  Let  him  come  forward  !  Ah!  ah!  he  has  at  length  found 
the  man  that  was  wanted  for  him.  He  now  knows  how  to  keep 
in  the  back  ground.  He  has  learnt  to  hold  his  tongue."  4 

Luther  saw  that  he  behoved  to  answer;  but  it  was  not  till  the 
end  of  1525  that  he  began  to  prepare;  and  Melancthon  having 
intimated  to  Erasmus  that  Luther  would  use  moderation,  the 
philosopher  was  quite  astonished.  "  If  I  hare  written  with 
moderation,"  said  he,  "  it  is  my  natural  turn  :  but  Luther  has  the 
indignation  of  the  son  of  Peleus  (Achilles).  And  how  could  it  be 
otherwise  ?  When  a  ship  encounters  a  tempest,  like  that  which  has 

i  De  libero  arbitrio  Aiarppj.  (Erasmi  Op.  ix,  p.  1215,  sq.)  2  Victoria  est 

penes  balbutientem  veritatem,  non  apud  mendacein  eloquentiam.  (L.  Ep.  ii.  p.  20J.) 

s  Als  \venn  einer  in  silbern  oder  guldern  Sclmsseln  wollte  mist  und  Unflath  Auf- 
trapen.  (L.  Oj'.  xix,  p.  4.  *  Sehet,  s<'liet  nun  da  zu!  wo  ist  nun  Luther. 

Ibid.,  p.  3.) 


risen  against  Luther,  what  anchor,  what  ballast,  what  helm,  would 
not  be  necessary  to  enable  it  to  keep  its  course?  Hence,  if  he 
answers  me  in  a  manner  not  in  accordance  with  his  character, 
these  sycophants  will  exclaim  that  we  understand  one  another."  1 
We  will  see  that  Erasmus  was  soon  to  be  disencumbered  of  these 

The  doctrine  of  an  election  by  God,  the  only  cause  of  man's 
salvation,  had  always  been  dear  to  the  Reformer ;  but,  till  now,  he 
had  only  considered  it  in  a  practical  point  of  view.  In  his  reply 
to  Erasmus,  it  presented  itself  to  him  in  a  speculative  form  ;  and 
he  laboured  to  prove,  by  the  arguments  which  seemed  to  him  most 
conclusive,  that  God  does  every  thing  in  the  conversion  of  man, 
and  that  our  heart  is  so  alienated  from  the  love  of  God,  that  every 
sincere  inclination  to  good  can  only  proceed  from  the  regenerating 
agency  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

"To  call  our  will  a  free  will,1'  said  he,  "is  to  do  like  princes, 
who  string  together  a  long  series  of  titles,  calling  themselves  the 
lords  of  such  and  such  kingdoms,  such  and  such  principalities,  and 
distant  islands  (as  Rhodes,  Cyprus,  and  Jerusalem),  while  they 
have  not  the  least  power  over  them."  At  the  same  time,  Luther 
here  makes  an  important  distinction,  which  shows  well  that  he  did 
not  participate  in  the  third  opinion  which  Erasmus  had  described  and 
imputed  to  him.  "  The  will  of  man,"  says  he,  "  may  be  called  a  free 
will,  not  in  relation  to  what  is  above  it — that  is  to  say,  God,  but  in 
relation  to  what  is  beneath — that  is  to  say,  the  kings  of  the  earth.2 
When  my  goods,  my  fields,  my  house,  my  farm,  are  in  question,  I 
can  act,  make,  and  manage  freely.  But  in  things  which  regard  salva 
tion,  man  is  captive;  he  is  subject  to  the  will  of  God,  or  rather  to 
that  of  the  devil."  3  Among  all  the  teachers  of  free  will,"  exclaims 
he,  "  show  me  a  single  one  who  has  in  himself  strength  sufficient 
to  endure  a  little  injury,  a  passionate  attack,  or  even  a  look  from 
his  enemy,  and  to  do  it  joyfully,  then, — without  even  asking  him 
to  abandon  his  body,  his  goods,  his  honour,  and  all  things, — I  de 
clare  that  you  have  gained  your  cause."  4 

Luther's  eye  was  too  piercing  not  to  detect  the  contradictions 
into  which  his  opponent  had  fallen.  Accordingly  he  proceeded,  in 
his  reply,  to  enclose  the  philosopher  in  the  net  in  which  he  had 
placed  himself.  "  If  the  passages  which  you  quote,"  said  he, 
"prove  that  it  is  easy  for  us  to  do  good,  why  do  you  dispute? 
What  need  have  we  of  Christ  and  the  Holy  Spirit  ?  Christ  has 
done  foolishly  in  shedding  his  blood  to  procure  us  a  strength, 

1  Ille  si  hie  multum  sui  dissimilis  fuerit,  clamabunt  sycophantse  colludere  nos.    (Er. 

Ep.  p.  819.)  aDer  Wille  des  Menschen  mag (L.  Op.  xis,  p>  29J 

3  Ibid.,  p.  33.  *  Ibid. 

FREE  WILL.  229 

which  we  already  have  from  nature."  In  fact  the  passages  quoted 
by  Erasmus  were  to  be  interpreted  in  quite  a  different  sense.  This 
much  debated  question  is  clearer  than  at  first  sight  it  seems. 
When  the  Bible  says  to  man,  "  Choose,"  it  is  because  it  presup 
poses  the  assistance  of  the  grace  of  God,  by  which  alone  he  can 
do  what  it  commands.  God,  in  giving  the  command,  gives  also 
the  power  to  perform  it.  When  Christ  said  to  Lazarus,  come 
forth,  it  was  not  because  Lazarus  could  raise  himself,  but,  because, 
in  commanding  him  to  come  forth  from  the  tomb,  he  gave  him  power 
to  do  so,  and  accompanied  his  word  with  creative  power.  He 
speaks,  and  it  is  done.  Besides,  it  is  quite  true  that  the  man 
whom  God  addresses  must  will ;  it  is  himself  that  wills,  and  not 
another;  but  still  he  can  receive  this  will  only  from  God.  It  must, 
no  doubt,  be  in  the  man ;  and  this  command  which  God  addresses 
to  him,  and  which,  according  to  Erasmus  'proves  man's  power, 
so  reconcileable  with  the  agency  of  God,  that  it  is  precisely  the 
means  by  which  this  agency  is  carried  on.  God  says  to  man,  "  Be 
converted,"  and  while  so  saying,  converts  him. 

But  the  view  on  which  Luther  especially  dwelt  in  his  reply  was, 
that  the  passages  quoted  by  Erasmus,  are  designed  to  teach  men 
what  they  ought  to  do,  and  their  incapability  of  doing  it,  but  not 
at  all  to  acquaint  them  with  this  fancied  power  which  is  assigned 
to  them.  "  How  often  does  it  happen,"  says  Luther,  "  that  a 
father  calls  his  little  child  to  him,  saying,  l  My  son,  will  you  come? 
Come,  come  then !'  in  order  the  child  may  learn  to  cry  for  help, 
and  allow  itself  to  be  carried  by  him."  l 

After  combating  the  arguments  of  Erasmus  in  favour  of  free 
will,  Luther  defends  his  own  against  the  attacks  of  his  opponent. 
"  Dear  Diatribe,"  says  he  ironically,  "  mighty  heroine,  who  pre 
tend  to  have  overthrown  the  word  of  the  Lord  in  the  gospel  of 
St.  John,  '  Without  me  ye  can  do  NOTHING,'  which  you,  however, 
regard  as  the  strongest  in  my  power,  and  call  the  Achilles  of  Luther, 
listen  to  me  for  a  little.  At  all  events,  until  you  prove  that  this  word 
nothing  not  only  may,  but  must  signify  some  little  thing,  all  your 
high  words,  all  your  splendid  illustrations,  have  no  more  effect  than 
chips  of  straw  would  have  in  extinguishing  an  immense  conflagra 
tion.  What  have  we  to  do  with  the  assertions — '  This  may  mean; 
that  may  be  understood  thus — when  you  are  bound  to  demonstrate 
that  it  must  be  so  understood.'  If  you  fail  to  do  so,  we  take  the 
declaration  in  its  natural  sense,  and  laugh  at  all  your  illustrations, 
your  great  preparations  and  pompous  triumph."  2 

At  length,   in  a  second  part,  Luther  shows,  and  always  by 
Scripture,  that  it  is  the  grace  of  God  that  does  all.     "  In  one 

i  L.  Op.  xix,  p.  55.  a  ibid.  p.  llfl^ 


word,"  says  he  at  the  end,  u  since  Scripture  uniformly  opposes 
Christ  to  all  that  is  not  Christ ;  since  it  declares  that  whatever  is 
not  Christ  and  in  Christ,  is  under  the  power  of  error,  darkness,  the 
devil,  death,  sin,  and  the  wrath  of  God,  it  follows  that  all  the 
passages  of  the  Bible  which  speak  of  Christ  are  contrary  to  free 
will.  Now,  these  passages  are  innumerable ;  the  Sacred  Volume 
is  filled  with  them.1" 

We  see  that  the  discussion  between  Luther  and  Erasmus  is  the 
same  as  that  which,  a  century  later,  took  place  between  the  Jan- 
senists  and  the  Jesuits — between  Pascal  and  Molina.2  To  what 
is  it  owing,  that  while  the  Reformation  has  had  such  mighty  re 
sults,  Jansenism,  defended  by  the  most  distinguished  geniuses,  has 
been  suppressed  without  force?  It  is  because  Jansenism  went 
back  to  St.  Augustin,  and  leant  upon  the  fathers ;  whereas  the 
Reformation  went  back  to  the  Bible,  and  leant  upon  the  Word  of 
God.  It  is  because  Jansenism  made  a  compromise  with  Rome,  and 
wished  to  establish  a  medium  between  truth  and  error ;  the  Refor 
mation  confided  in  God  alone,  cleared  away  the  soil,  removed  all 
the  human  rubbish  which  had  covered  it  for  ages,  and  laid  bare 
the  primitive  rock.  To  stop  midway  is  useless  labour ;  in  all 
things  it  is  proper  to  go  forward  to  the  end.  Hence,  while 
Jansenism  has  passed  away,  the  destinies  of  the  world  are  bound 
up  with  evangelical  Christianity. 

Luther,  after  keenly  refuting  the  error,  paid  a  brilliant,  but 
perhaps  somewhat  sarcastic,  homage  to  the  person  of  Erasmus. 
"  I  confess,"  said  he,  "  that  you  are  a  great  man.  Where  were 
more  learning,  intellect,  ability  in  writing  and  speaking  ever  seen  ? 
For  myself  I  have  nothing  of  the  kind ;  there  is  only  one  thing 
from  which  I  can  derive  any  glory.  .  .  .  I  am  a  Christian. 
May  God  raise  you  in  the  knowledge  of  the  gospel,  infinitely  above 
me,  so  that  you  may  surpass  me  as  much  in  this  respect,  as  you 
already  do  in  every  other."  3 

Erasmus  was  beside  himself  on  reading  Luther's  reply ;  he 
would  see  nothing  in  his  compliments  but  the  honey  of  a  poisoned 
cup,  or  the  embrace  of  a  serpent.  He  immediately  wrote  to  the 
Elector  of  Saxony,  demanding  justice ;  and  Luther  having  tried  to 
appease  him,  he  laid  aside  his  ordinary  habit,  and  as  one  of  his 
most  ardent  apologists  expresses  it,  began  "  to  inveigh  in  a  broken 
voice  and  grey  hairs."  4 

Erasmus  was  vanquished.  Moderation  had  been  his  forte,  and 
he  had  now  lost  it.  The  energy  of  Luther  he  could  only  supply 

1  L.  Op.  xix,  p.  143.  2  It  is  needless  to  say  that  I  do  not  mean  personal  dis 

cussions  between  individuals,  the  one  of  whom  died  in  IfiOO,  and  the  other  was  not 
born  till  1623.  »  L.  Op.  xix,  p.  146, 147.  *  M.  Nisard.  Erasme,  p.  419. 



by  rage.  The  wise  man  wanted  wisdom.  He  replied,  publicly,  in 
his  Hyperapistes,  accusing  the  Reformer  of  barbarism,  falsehood, 
and  blasphemy.  The  philosopher  even  went  the  length  of  pro 
phesying.  "  I  prophesy,"  said  he,  "  that  no  name  under  the  sun 
will  be  more  execrated  than  that  of  Luther."  This  prophecy, 
after  a  lapse  of  three  centuries,  was  answered  on  the  jubilee  of 
1817,  by  the  enthusiastic  acclamations  of  the  whole.  Protestant 

Thus,  while  Luther,  with  the  Bible,  placed  himself  at  the  head  of 
his  age,  Erasmus,  in  opposing  him,  wished  to  occupy  the  same 
place  with  philosophy.  Which  of  the  two  leaders  has  been  fol 
lowed  ?  Both,  no  doubt.  Nevertheless,  the  influence  of  Luther 
on  the  nations  of  Christendom  has  been  infinitely  greater  than  that 
of  Erasmus.  Even  those  who  did  not  well  understand  the  matter 
in  dispute,  seeing  the  conviction  of  one  of  the  antagonists,  and  the 
doubts  of  the  other,  could  not  help  believing  that  the  former  was 
in  the  right  and  the  latter  in  the  wrong.  It  has  been  said  that  the 
three  last  centuries,  the  sixteenth,  seventeenth,  and  eighteenth, 
may  be  conceived  as  an  immense  battle  of  three  days.1  We  wil 
lingly  adopt  the  happy  expression,  but  not  the  part  which  is  as 
signed  to  each  day.  The  same  task  is  given  to  the  sixteenth  and 
to  the  eighteenth  century.  The  first  day  and  the  last  it  is  philo 
sophy  that  breaks  the  ranks.  The  sixteenth  century  philosophi 
cal  !  Strange  mistake.  No  ;  each  of  these  days  had  a  distinct  and 
striking  characteristic.  The  first  day  of  battle,  it  was  the  Word 
of  God  and  the  Gospel  of  Christ  that  triumphed.  Then  Rome  was 
defeated,  as  well  as  philosophy,  in  the  person  of  Erasmus  and  her 
other  representatives.  The  second  day,  we  admit  Rome,  her  au 
thority,  her  discipline,  and  her  doctrine  re-appear,  and  are  on  the 
eve  of  triumphing,  by  the  intrigues  of  a  celebrated  society  and  the 
power  of  the  scaffold,  as  well  as  by  some  characters  of  great  veracity 
and  men  of  distinguished  genius.  The  third  day,  human  philosophy 
rises  up  in  all  its  pride  ;  and  finding  not  the  gospel  but  Rome  on 
the  field  of  battle,  makes  easy  work,  and  soon  carries  all  the  en 
trenchments.  The  first  day  is  the  battle  of  God,  the  second  the 
battle  of  the  priest,  and  the  third  the  battle  of  reason.  What  will 
be  the  fourth?  The  confused  melee,  we  think,  the  furious  battle 
of  all  the  powers  together,  to  terminate  in  the  triumph  of  Him  to 
whom  the  triumph  belongs. 

1  Port  Royal,  by  Sainte  Beuve,  vol.  i,  p.  20. 


CHAP.  X. 

The  Three  Adversaries — Source  of  the  Truth — Anabaptism — Anabaptism  and  Zu- 
inglius — Constitution  of  the  Church — Prison — The  Prophet  Blaurock — Anabap 
tism  at  St.  Gall— An  Anabaptist  family— Dispute  at  Zurich—The  limits  of  the 
Reformation — Punishment  of  the  Anabaptists. 

But  the  battle  which  the  Keformation  fought  on  the  grand  clay 
of  the  sixteenth  century  was  not  one  only :  it  was  manifold.  The 
Keformation  had  at  once  several  enemies  to  combat.  After  pro 
testing  against  the  decretals  and  supremacy  of  the  popes,  next 
against  the  cold  apophthegms  of  the  rationalists,  philosophers,  and 
schoolmen  5  it  at  ^he  same  time  stood  up  against  the  reveries  of  en 
thusiasm,  and  the  hallucinations  of  mysticism — opposing  to  these 
three  powers  at  once  the  sword  and  buckler  of  Divine  revelation. 

It  must  be  admitted  that  there  is  a  great  resemblance,  a  remark 
able  unity  in  these  three  adverse  powers.  The  false  systems  which 
in  all  ages  are  most  opposed  to  evangelical  Christianity,  are  always 
characterised  by  their  making  religions  knowledge  proceed  from 
within  the  man  himself.  Rationalism  makes  it  proceed  from  rea 
son;  mysticism,  from  some  internal  light;  Roman  Catholicism, 
from  an  illumination  of  the  pope.  These  three  errors  seek  the  truth 
in  man ;  evangelical  Christianity  seeks  it  wholly  in  God.  While 
rationalism,  mysticism,  and  Roman  Catholicism  admit  a  permanent 
inspiration  in  certain  persons  like  ourselves,  and  thus  open  the 
door  to  all  errors  and  all  variations,  evangelical  Christianity  recog 
nises  this  inspiration  only  in  the  writings  of  the  Apostles  and  Pro 
phets,  and  alone  exhibits  that  grand,  and  beautiful,  and  living 
unity,  which  flows  always  the  same  through  all  ages. 

The  work  of  the  Reformation  was  to  re-establish  the  rights  of 
the  Word  of  God,  in  opposition  not  only  to  Roman  Catholicism, 
but  also  rationalism  and  to  mysticism  itself. 

The  fanaticism  of  the  Anabaptists  being  extinguished  in  Ger 
many  by  Luther's  return  to  Wittemberg,  re-appeared  in  force  in 
Switzerland,  threatening  the  edifice  which  Zuinglius,  Haller,  and 
(Ecolampadius  had  built  on  the  Word  of  God.  Thomas  Munzer, 
when  obliged  to  quit  Saxony  in  1521,  haft  arrived  on  the  frontiers 
of  Switzerland.  Conrad  Grebel,  whose  restless  and  ardent  temper 
we  have  already  mentioned,  had  become  connected  with  him,  as 
well  as  Felix  Manz,  son  of  a  canon,  and  some  other  inhabitants  of 
Zurich.  Grebel  had  immediately  tried  to  gain  Zuinglius.  In  vain 
had  Zuinglius  gone  farther  than  Luther.  He  saw  a  party  rising 
that  wished  to  go  still  farther  than  he.  "  Let  us,"  said  Grebel  to 



him,  "form  a  community  of  true  believers;  for  to  them  alone  the 
promise  belongs  5  and  let  us  establish  a  church  in  which  there  is 
no  sin."1  "  We  cannot,"  said  Zuinglius,  "  introduce  heaven  upon 
earth,  and  Christ  has  taught  us  that  we  must  allow  the  tares  to 
grow  among  the  wheat."2 

Grebel,  having  failed  with  Zuinglius,  was  desirous  to  appeal  to 
the  people.  uThe  whole  Zurich  community,"  said  he,  "must  de 
cide  supremely  on  matters  of  faith."  But  Zuinglius  dreaded  the 
influence  which  radical  enthusiasts  might  exercise  over  a  large  as 
sembly.  He  thought  that,  except  in  unusual  cases,  where  the 
people  might  be  called  to  give  in  their  adherence,  it  was  better  to 
confide  religious  interests  to  a  college,  which  might  be  considered 
as  the  elite  of  the  representatives  of  the  Church.  Consequently, 
the  Council  of  Two  Hundred,  which  exercised  political  supremacy 
in  Zurich,  was  also  intrusted  with  ecclesiastical  power,  under  the 
express  condition  that  they  should  conform  in  every  respect  to  the 
rule  of  Holy  Scripture.  No  doubt  it  would  have  been  better 
to  constitute  the  Church  fully,  and  call  upon  it  to  name  its  own 
representatives,  who  should  be  intrusted  only  with  the  religious 
interests  of  the  people ;  for  he  who  is  capable  of  managing  the  in 
terests  of  the  State  may  be  very  unfit  to  manage  those  of  the 
Church,  and  vice  versa.  Nevertheless,  the  inconveniences  were 
not  so  serious  then  as  they  might  be  at  this  time,  as  the  members 
of  the  Grand  Council  had  entered  frankly  into  the  religious  move 
ment.  Be  this  as  it  may,  Zuinglius,  while  appealing  to  the  Church, 
avoided  bringing  it  too  much  upon  the  stage,  and  preferred  the  re 
presentation  system  to  the  active  sovereignty  of  the  people. 

This  is  what  the  States  of  Europe,  after  the  lapse  of  three  cen 
times,  are  doing  in  the  political  sphere.  Repulsed  by  Zuinglius, 
Grebel  turned  in  another  direction.  Roubli,  superannuated  pastor 
at  Basle,  Brodtlein,  pastor  at  Zollekon,  and  Louis  Herzer,  gave 
him  a  cordial  reception.  They  determined  to  form  an  independent 
community  in  the  midst  of  the  great  community — a  church  in  the 
midst  of  the  Church.  A  new  baptism  was  to  enable  them  to  re 
assemble  their  congregation,  composed  exclusively  of  true  be 
lievers.  "  The  baptism  of  infants,"  said  they,  "  is  a  horrible  abo 
mination — a  manifest  impiety,  invented  by  the  evil  spirit,  and  by 
Nicholas  II,  Pope  of  Rome.3 

The  council  of  Zurich  taking  the  alarm,  ordered  a  public  discus 
sion  ;  and  the  Anabaptists  refusing  to  abjure  their  errors,  some 
Zurichers  among  them  were  imprisoned,  and  some  strangers  ban- 

1  Vermeintend  ein  Kirchen  /e  versammlen  die  one  Siind  war.    (Zw.  Op.  ii-  p.  281.) 

2  Zw.  Op.  iii,  p.  362.         s  Imjiietatem  manifestissimam,  a  cacodaemone,  a  Nicolao 
II,  esse.    (Hottinger,  iii,  p.  219.) 


ished.  But  persecution  only  increased  their  fervour.  "  Not  with 
words  only,"  they  exclaimed,  "  but  with  our  blood  are  we  ready- 
to  bear  testimony  to  the  truth  of  our  cause."  Some,  girding  them 
selves  with  cords  or  osier-twigs,  went  up  and  down  the  streets 
crying,  "  A  few  days,  and  Zurich  will  be  destroyed.  Woe  to  thee, 
Zurich!  woe!  woe!"  Several  used  blasphemous  expressions. 
"  Baptism,"  they  said,  "  is  a  bath  for  a  dog :  it  is  of  no  more  use' 
to  baptise  a  child  than  to  baptise  a  cat." l  Simple  and  pious  people 
were  moved  and  amazed.  Fourteen  men,  among  them  Felix 
Maritz  and  seven  women,  were  seized  and  put  on  bread  and  water 
in  the  heretics'  tower.  After  a  fortnight's  confinement,  they  sue-  1 
eeeded  in  raising  some  planks  during  the  night,  and,  assisting  one 
another,  made  their  escape.  "  An  angel,"  they  said,  "  had  open 
ed  the  prison  and«let  them  out."  2 

A  monk  who  had  escaped  from  his  convent,  George  Jacob  de 
Coire,  surnamed  Blaurock,  because  it  seems  he  always  wore  a  blue 
coat,  joined  them,  and  was,  on  account  of  his  eloquence,  called  the 
second  St.  Paul.  This  bold  monk  went  from  place  to  place,  by  his 
imposing  fervour  constraining  people  to  receive  his  baptism.  One 
Sunday  at  Zollekon,  while  the  deacon  was  preaching,  the  impetu 
ous  Anabaptist  interrupting  him,  exclaimed  in  a  voice  of  thunder, 
"  It  is  written,  My  house  shall  be  called  the  house  of  prayer,  but  ye 
have  made  it  a  den  of  thieves."  Then  lifting  his  staff  which  he  had 
in  his  hand,  he  violently  struck  four  blows. 

" I  am  a  door,"  exclaimed  he,  "whosoever  will  enter  in  by  me 
will  find  pasture.  I  am  a  good  shepherd.  My  body  I  give  to  the 
prison  ;  my  life  I  give  to  the  sword,  the  scaffold,  or  the  wheel.  I 
am  the  beginning  of  baptism  and  of  the  bread  of  the  Lord."  3 

Zuinglius  still  opposing  the  torrent  of  Anabaptism  in  Zurich,  St. 
Gall  was  soon  inundated  by  it.  G rebel  arrived,  and  was  received 
by  the  brethren  with  acclamation ;  and  on  Palm  Sunday,  having  re 
paired  with  a  number  of  his  adherents  to  the  banks  of  the  Sitter, 
he  baptised  them. 

The  news  immediately  spread  to  the  neighbouring  cantons,  and 
a  great  crowd  flocked  from  Zurich,  Appenzel,  and  divers  other 
places,  to  "  little  Jerusalem." 

Zuinglius  was  heart-broken  at  the  sight  of  this  agitation.  He 
saw  a  storm  bursting  on  those  districts  in  which  the  seed  of  the 
gospel  was  just  beginning  to  spring.4  He  resolved  to  oppose  these 
disorders,  and  composed  a  treatise  "  on  baptism,"5  which  the  coun- 

1  Nutzete  eben  so  viel  als  wenn  man  eine  Katze  taufet.    (Fiissl.  Beytr.  i,  p.  2*3.) 

2  Wie  die  Apostel  von  dem  Engel  Gottes  gelediget.     (Bull.  Chr.  p.  261.)  3  Ich 
bin  ein  Anfanger  der  Taufe  und  des  Herrn  Erodes.     (Fussl.  Beytr.  i,  p.  264.) 

*  Mich  beduret  seer  das  ungewitter.    .  .  .  (Zw.  to  the  Council  of  St.  Gall,  ii,  p.  230.) 
5  Vom  Touf,  vom  Widertouf,  und  votn  Kindertouf,     (Zw.  Op.  ii,  p.  230.) 


of  St.  Gall,  to  whom  he  dedicated  it,  ordered  to  be  read  ia 
urch  before  all  the  people. 

"Very  deai  brethren  in  God,"  said  Zninglins,  " the  torrent  which 
leaps  from  our  rocks,  soon  washes  down  whatever  it  reaches.  At  first 

i  fit  is  only  small  stones  ;  but  these  are  carried  violently  against  larger 
ones,  until  the  torrent  becomes  so  powerful  that  it  carries  away 
every  thing  it  meets,  and  leaves  nothing  behind  it  bat  screams 
and  useless  lamentations  and  fertile  meadows  turned  into  a  desert. 
The  spirit  of  disputation  and  self-righteousness  acts  in  the  same 

;  way :  it  excites  disorders,  destroys  charity,  and  where  it  found  fair 
and  flourishing  churches,  leaves  nothing  behind  it  but  flocks  plunged 

I  into  mourning  and  despair." 

Thus  spoke  Zuinglius,  the  mountaineer  of  the  Tockenburg. 
"  Tell  us  the  Word  of  God,"  exclaimed  an  Anabaptist  who  was  in 
the  church,  "  and  not  the  word  of  Zuinglius."  Confused  voices 
were  immediately  heard.  "  Let  him  take  away  the  book,  let  him 
fake  away  the  book,"  exclaimed  the  Anabaptists.  They  then  rose 
and  quitted  the  church,  crying,  "  Keep  the  doctrine  of  Zuinglius : 

Iks  for  us,  we  will  keep  the  Word  of  God." 1 

This  fanaticism  manifested  itself  by  still  more  lamentable  dis 
orders.  Under  the  pretext  that  the  Lord  commands  us  to  become 
like  children,  these  poor  creatures  began  to  leap  in  the  streets, 
clapping  then'  hands,  to  dance  a  jig  together,  to  squat  on  the 
ground,  and  to  roll  one  another  on  the  sand.  Some  burnt  the  New 
Testament,  saying,  "  The  letter  killeth,  but  the  spirit  giveth  life," 
and,  several  falling  into  convulsions,  pretended  that  they  had  reve 
lations  of  the  Spirit. 

In  a  lonely  house,  situated  near  St.  Gall,  on  the  Mtillegg,  lived 
a  farmer  of  eighty — John  Schucker,  with  his  five  sons.  They  had 
all,  as  well  as  their  servants,  received  the  new  baptism,  and  two 
of  the  sons,  Thomas  and  Leonard,  were  distinguished  for  their 
fanaticism.  On  the  7th  of  February,  1526,  (Shrove  Tuesday) 
they  invited  a  great  number  of  Anabaptists  to  meet  at  their  house, 
and  the  father  caused  a  calf  to  be  killed  for  the  occasion.  The 
viands,  the  wine,  and  the  numerous  assemblage,  heated  their  ima 
ginations  ;  they  passed  the  whole  night  in  converse  and  fanatical 
gesticulations,  convulsions,  visions,  and  revelations.2 

In  the  morning,  Thomas,  still  agitated  by  the  proceedings  of  the 
night,  and  having  even,  as  it  appears,  lost  his  reason,  took  the 
bladder  of  the  calf,  put  some  of  its  gall  into  it,  wishing  thus  to 
imitate  the  symbolical  language  of  the  prophets,  and,  approaching 
his  brother  Leonard,  said  to  him  in  a  grave  voice,  "Thus,  bitter 

1  So  wollen  \vir  Gottes  Wort  haben.    (Zw.  to  the  Council  of  St.  Gall,  ii,  p.  237.) 
1  Mit  wunderba»en  geperden  und  gesnrachen,  verzucken  gcsichten,  und  offeubarun- 
fjen.   (Bujl.  CIir,i,  p,  324.) 

*       '  9 


is  the  death  which  you  must  endure."  Then  he  added,  "  Brother 
Leonard,  go  down  on  your  knees."  Leonard  knelt.  Shortly  after. 
"  Leonard  rise."  Leonard  rose  up.  The  father,  the  brothers,  and 
the  other  Anabaptists,  looked  on  in  astonishment,  asking  what  God 
meant  to  do.  Shortly  Thomas  resumed :  "  Leonard,  kneel  again.-* 
Leonard  did  so.  The  spectators  alarmed  at  the  dismal  look  of  the 
poor  wretch,  said  to  him,  "  Think  of  what  you  are  doing,  and  take 
care  no  mischief  happen." — "Fear  not,"  replied  Thomas:  "no 
thing  will  happen  but  the  will  of  our  Father."  At  the  same  time 
he  suddenly  seized  a  sword,  and  bringing  it  down  with  force  on  his 
brother,  who  was  kneeling  before  him  as  a  criminal  before  the 
executioner,  he  cut  off  his  head,  and  exclaimed,  "Now  the  will  of 
the  Father  is  done."  All  who  were  standing  round  started  back 
in  horror,  and  the  farm  resounded  with  cries  and  groans.  Thomas, 
whose  whole  clothing  was  shirt  and  pantaloons,  went  off  barefoot  and 
bareheaded,  out  of  the  house,  and  ran  towards  St.  Gall,  making  frantic 
gestures.  He  entered  the  house  of  burgomaster  Joachim  Vadian, 
and,  with  haggard  looks  and  loud  cries,  said  to  him,  "I  announce 
to  thee  the  day  of  the  Lord."  The  fearful  news  spread  through  St. 
Gall,  "  He  has,  like  Cain,"  it  was  said,  "killed  his  brother  Abel."1 
The  culprit  was  seized.  "It  is  true  I  did  it,"  repeated  he  inces 
santly  ;  "  but  God  did  it  by  me."  On  the  16th  February  this  poor 
creature  was  beheaded  by  the  hand  of  the  executioner.  Fanaticism 
had  made  its  last  effort.  The  eyes  of  all  were  opened ;  and,  as  an 
old  historian  says,  the  same  stroke  cut  off  the  head  of  Thomas 
Schucker  and  that  of  Anabaptism  in  St.  Gall. 

It  still  reigned  at  Zurich.  On  the  6th  November  of  the  previous 
year,  a  public  discussion  had  taken  place  to  please  the  Anabaptists, 
who  kept  continually  crying,  that  they  were  condemning  the  inno 
cent  without  a  hearing.  The  three  following  theses  were  proposed 
by  Zuinglius  and  his  friends  as  the  subject  of  the  conference,  and 
victoriously  maintained  by  them  in  the  hall  of  conference. 

"  Children  born  of  believing  parents,  are  children  of  God,  like 
those  who  were  born  under  the  Old  Testament,  and,  consequently, 
they  may  receive  baptism. 

"  Baptism  is  under  the  New  what  circumcision  was  under  the 
Old  Testament ;  consequently  baptism  must  now  be  administered 
to  children  as  circumcision  was. 

"  The  custom  of  baptising  anew  cannot  be  proved  either  from  ex 
amples,  or  from  passages  of  Scripture,  or  reasons  derived  from  Scrip 
ture.  Those  who  get  themselves  re-baptised,  crucify  Jesus  Christ." 

But  the  Anabaptists  did  not  confine  themselves  to  merely  religious 
questions.  They  demanded  the  abolition  of  tithes,  considering,  said 

1  Glych  wie  Kain  den  Abel  sinen  bruder  eruaort  hatJ     (Bull.  Chr.,  i,  p.  324.) 


they,  that  they  are  not  of  divine  institution.  Zuinglius  replied  that 
on  tithes  depended  the  maintenance  of  churches  and  schools.  He 
wished  a  complete  religious  reform ;  but  he  was  determined  not  to  allow 
the  public  order,  or  political  institutions  to  be  interfered  with  in  the 
least  degree.  This  was  the  limit  where  he  saw  written  in  the  hand 
writing  of  God  these  words,  "Hitherto  shalt  thou^come,  but  no 
farther." 1  It  was  necessary  to  stop  somewhere  ;  and  here  Zum 
glius  and  the  Reformers  stopped,  in  spite  of  the  impetuous  men  who 
strove  to  hurry  them  still  farther. 

Still,  though  the  Reformers  stopped,  they  could  not  stop  the 
enthusiasts  who  seemed  placed  beside  them  to  bring  out  their  wis 
dom  and  soberness.  The  Anabaptists  did  not  think  it  enough  to 
have  formed  a  church.  This  church  was  in  their  eyes  the  true 
state.  Were  they  cited  before  the  courts,  they  declared  that  they 
would  not  recognise  civil  authority,  which  was  only  a  remnant  of 
paganism,  and  that  they  obeyed  no  other  power  but  God.  They 
taught  that  Christians  were  not  permitted  to  exercise  public  func 
tions,  or  bear  the  sword,  and  similar  in  that  to  certain  irreligious 
enthusiasts  who  have  appeared  in  our  day,  they  regarded  a  com 
munity  of  goods  as  the  beau  ideal  of  humanity.2 

Thus  the  danger  increased :  civil  society  was  menaced,  and 
arose  to  reject  these  destructive  elements  from  its  bosom.  The 
government,  in  alarm,  allowed  themselves  to  be  dragged  into  strange 
measures.  Determined  to  make  an  example,  they  condemned  Mantz 
to  be  drowned.  On  the  5th  January,  1527,  he  was  placed  in  a 
boat.  His  mother,  who  had  formerly  been  the  canon's  concubine, 
and  his  brother,  were  among  the  crowd  that  accompanied  him  to 
the  water-edge.  "Persevere  even  to  the  end,"  exclaimed  they  to 
him.  At  the  moment  when  the  executioner  made  ready  to  throw 
Mantz  into  the  lake,  his  brother  melted  into  tears ;  but  his  mother 
stood  by  calm,  with  resolute  heart,  dry  and  sparkling  eye,  to  wit 
ness  the  martyrdom  of  her  son.3 

The  same  day  Blaurock  was  beaten  with  rods.  As  they  were 
taking  him  out  of  the  town,  he  shook  his  blue  coat  and  the  dust  on 
his  feet  against  it.4  It  appears  that  this  poor  man  was,  at  a  later 
period,  burnt  alive  by  the  Roman  Catholics  of  the  Tyrol. 

No  doubt  there  was  a  spirit  of  revolt  among  the  Anabaptists :  with 
out  doubt  the  ancient  ecclesiastical  law,  which  condemned  heretics 
to  death,  was  still  in  force,  and  the  Reformation  could  not,  in  one 
year  or  two,  reform  all  errors.  No  doubt,  moreover,  the  Catholic 
states  would  have  accused  the  Protestant  states  of  encouraging 

1  Job,  xxxviii,  11.  2  Fussl.  Beytr.,  i,  p.  229-258  :  ii,  p.  263.  3  Ohne  das  er 

Oder  die  Mutter,  sondern  nur  der  Bruder  geweiuet.  (Hott.  Ilelv.,  K.  Gesch,  iii,  p.  385.) 

4  Und  schiittlet  sinen  blauen  rock  und  sine  schiich  iiber  die  Statt  Zurich.  (Bull- 
Chr.,  i,  p.  38'J.) 


disorder;  but  these  considerations,  while  they  explain  the  rigour  of 
the  magistrate,  cannot  justify  it.  Measures  might  have  been  taken 
against  every  assault  made  on  the  civil  constitution  ;  but  religious 
errors,  combated  by  religious  teachers,  ought  to  have  had  entiro 
exemption  from  civil  courts.  Such  opinions  are  not  lashed  away 
with  the  whip — they  are  not  drowned  when  those  who  profess  them 
are  thrown  into  the  water :  they  rise  up  from  the  bottom  of  the 
abyss,  and  the  fire  only  kindles  in  their  adherents  greater  enthu 
siasm  and  thirst  for  martyrdom.  Zuinglius,  whose  sentiments  ou 
this  head  we  have  already  seen,  took  no  part  in  these  severities.1 


Popish  Immobility — Protestant  Progression — Zuinglius  and  Luther — Zuinglius  and 
the  Lord's  Supper — Luther's  great  Principle— Carlstadt's  writings  prohibited — 
Zuinglius's  Commentary — The  Suabian  Syngram— Capito  and  Bucer — Need  of 
unity  in  diversity. 

Baptism,  however,  was  not  the  only  subject  on  which  dissension 
was  to  arise.  The  doctrine  of  the  Supper  was  to  occasion  it  in  a 
*till  graver  form. 

The  human  mind,  freed  from  the  yoke  under  which  it  had 
groaned  for  so  many  ages,  availed  itself  of  its  freedom ;  and  if 
Roman  Catholicism  had  its  rocks  of  despotism,  Protestantism  had 
cause  to  fear  rocks  of  anarchy.  The  characteristic  of  Protestantism 
is  movement,  as  that  of  Rome  is  immobility. 

Roman  Catholicism,  which  possesses  in  the  papacy  a  means  of 
incessantly  establishing  new  doctrines,  does  indeed  at  first  appear 
to  have  a  principle  eminently  favourable  to  variations.  This  it 
has  used  to  a  large  extent;  and  we  see  Rome,  from  age  to  age, 
producing  or  ratifying  new  dogmas.  But  when  once  its  system 
was  completed,  Roman  Catholicism  became  the  champion  of  im 
mobility.  Its  safety  lies  here.  It  is  like  one  of  those  tottering 
buildings,  from  which  nothing  can  be  taken  away  without  pro 
ducing  a  ruin.  Allow  the  priests  of  Rome  to  marry,  or  do  away 
with  the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation,  and  the  whole  system  is 
shaken,  the  whole  edifice  falls. 

It  is  not  so  with  evangelical  Christianity.  Its  principle  is  much 
less  favourable  to  variations,  and  much  more  favourable  to  motion 
and  life.  On  the  one  hand,  the  only  source  of  truth  which  it  re- 

1  Quod  homines  seditiosi,  reipublicse  turbatores,  magistratuum  hostes,justa  Sena- 
tus  sententia,  damnati  sunt,  num  id  Zwinglio  fraudi  esse  poterit  ?  (Rod.  Gualther 
Bpist.  ad  lectorem,  Op.  1544,  ii.)  Can  it  be  any  charge  against  Zuinglius,  that  sedi 
tious  men,  disturbers  of  the  common  weal  and  enemies  of  the  magistrates,  were  co»- 
demned  by  a  just  sentence  of  the  Senate? 


cognises  is  one  Scripture,  stand  ing  alone,  always  the  same  from  the 
beginning  of  the  Church  to  its  end ;  how  then  could  it  vary  as  the 
papacy  has  done.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  each  Christian  must 
go  and  draw  for  himself  at  this  source.  Hence  arise  motion  and 
liberty.  Thus  evangelical  Christianity,  while  it  is  in  the  nine 
teenth  century  what  it  was  in  the  sixteenth,  and  also  in  the  first, 
is  at  all  times  full  of  energy  and  activity,  filling  the  world  with 
researches,  labours,  Bibles,  missionaries,  light,  salvation,  and  life. 

It  is  a  great  error  to  rank  and  almost  confound  evangelical 
Christianity  with  mysticism  and  rationalism,  and  impute  their 
vagaries  to  it.  Movement  is  natural  to  evangelical  Protestantism ; 
it  has  an  antipathy  to  immobility  and  death  ;  but  it  is  the  move 
ment  of  health  and  life  that  characterises  it,  and  not  the  aberra 
tions  of  the  man  who  has  lost  his  senses,  or  the  agitations  of 
disease.  We  are  going  to  see  this  characteristic  manifested  in  the 
doctrine  of  the  Supper. 

This  was  to  be  expected.  This  doctrine  had  received  divers 
interpretations  in  the  early  days  of  the  Church,  and  this  diversity 
subsisted,  until  the  period  when  the  doctrine  of  transubstantiation 
and  the  scholastic  theology  began,  at  the  same  time,  to  exert  an 
ascendancy  over  the  middle  ages.  This  ascendancy  having  been 
shaken,  the  ancient  diversity  behoved  to  re-appear. 

Zuinglius  and  Luther,  after  having  been  developed  apart,  the 
former  in  Switzerland,  the  latter  in  Saxony,  were  one  day  to  meet 
in  presence  of  each  other.  They  were  animated  by  the  same 
spirit,  and,  in  many  respects,  by  the  same  character.  Both  were 
full  of  love  for  truth  and  hatred  for  injustice  :  both  were  naturally 
violent ;  and  in  both  this  violence  was  tempered  by  sincere  piety. 
But  there  was  a  feature  in  the  character  of  Zuinglius  which  carried 
him  farther  onward  than  Luther.  He  loved  liberty  not  merely  as 
a  man,  but  as  a  republican,  a  countrymen  of  Tell.  Accustomed 
to  the  decisions  of  a  free  state,  he  did  not  allow  himself  to  be  ar 
rested  by  considerations  before  which  Luther  recoiled.  He  had, 
moreover,  studied  scholastic  theology  less  than  Luther,  and  in  this 
way  was  less  under  trammels.  Both  ardently  attached  to  their  inmost 
convictions,  both  determined  to  defend  them,  and  little  accustomed 
to  bend  before  the  convictions  of  others,  they  were  to  meet,  like 
two  fiery  steeds,  which  rush  into  battle,  and  suddenly  encounter  each 

A  practical  tendency  predominated  in  Zuinglius,  and  in  the  Re 
formation,  of  which  he  was  the  author ;  and  this  tendency  was 
directed  to  two  great  results — to  simplicity  in  worship,  and  to 
holiness  in  life.  To  bring  worship  into  accordance  with  the  wants 
of  the  mind,  which  seeks  not  external  poir$,  but  things  invisible, 


was  the  first  want  of  Zuinglius.  The  idea  of  a  corporal  presence 
of  Jesus  Christ  in  the  Supper — an  idea,  the  source  of  all  the  cere 
monies  and  all  the  superstitions  of  the  Church,  behoved  to  be 
abolished.  But  another  longing  of  the  Swiss  Reformer  led  him  to 
the  same  results.  He  found  that  the  doctrine  of  Rome  on  the 
Supper,  and  even  that  of  Luther,  pre- supposed  a  certain  magical 
influence  prejudicial  to  sanctification.  He  feared  that  the  Christian, 
in  imagining  that  he  received  Jesus  Christ  in  the  consecrated 
bread,  would  not  be  so  zealous  in  seeking  to  be  united  to  him  by 
heart-felt  faith.  "  Faith,"  said  he,  "  is  not  knowledge,  opinion, 
imagination,  it  is  a  reality.1  It  brings  with  it  a  real  union  in 
things  divine."  Hence,  whatever  the  enemies  of  Zuinglius  may 
allege,  it  was  not  a  leaning  to  rationalism,  but  a  profoundly  re 
ligious  idea,  that  led  him  to  the  adoption  of  his  peculiar  views. 
The  result  of  the  labours  of  Zuinglius  coincided  with  his  tendencies. 
In  studying  the  Scriptures  as  a  whole,  as  he  was  accustomed  to  do, 
and  not  merely  in  detached  portions ,  and  in  having  recourse  to 
the  classics,  in  order  to  solve  any  difficulties  of  expression,  he  came 
to  be  convinced  that  the  word  w,  in  the  institution  of  the  Supper, 
must  be  taken  in  the  sense  of  signifies;  and,  as  early  as  1523,  he 
wrote  to  a  Mend  that  the  bread  and  wine,  in  the  institution  of  the 
Supper,  are  only  what  the  water  is  in  baptism.  "It  were  vain," 
added  he,  "  to  plunge  him  who  believes  not,  a  thousand  times  in 
water.  Faith,  then,  is  the  thing  essentially  required.2" 

Luther  at  first  set  out  from  principles  very  much  akin  to  those 
of  the  teacher  of  Zurich.  "  It  is  not  the  sacrament  which  sancti 
fies,"  said  he,  "  it  is  faith  in  the  sacrament."  But  the  extrava 
gances  of  the  Anabaptists,  whose  mysticism  spiritualised  every 
thing,  produced  a  great  change  in  his  views.  When  he  saw  en 
thusiasts,  who  pretended  to  a  particular  inspiration,  breaking 
images,/  rejecting  baptism,  denying  the  presence  of  Christ  in  the 
Supper,  he  was  alarmed :  he  had  a  kind  of  prophetical  presentiment 
of  the  dangers  which  threatened  the  Church,  if  this  ultra-spiritualist 
disposition  gained  the  ascendancy,  and  he  threw  himself  into  a 
quite  different  path,  like  a  pilot,  who,  seeing  his  bark  leaning  much 
over  to  one  side  and  ready  to  upset,  leans  with  all  his  weight  on 
the  other  side,  in  order  to  establish  the  equilibrium. 

From  this  time  Luther  attached  a  higher  importance  to  the 
sacraments.  He  maintained  that  they  were  not  only  signs  by 
means  of  which  Christians  are  externallyrecognised,  as  Zuinglius 
held,  but  testimonials  of  the  divine  will,  fitted  to  strengthen  our 

i  Fidem  rem  esse,  non  scientiam,  opinionem  vel  imaginationem.    (Comment,  cle 
vera  relig.  Zw.  Op.  iii,  p.  230.)  2  Haud  aliter  hie  p;tnem  et  vinum  esse  puto 

quam  aqua  est  in  baptismo.    (Ad.  Wittenbachium  Ep.  15th  June,  1523.) 


faith.  More  than  this,  Christ,  according  to  him,  had  been  pleased 
to  impart  to  believers  a  fall  assurance  of  their  salvation  ;  and  in 
order  to  seal  this  promise  in  the  most  effectual  manner,  had  added 
his  true  body  in  the  bread  and  wine.  '  "  In  the  same  way,"  said 
he,  "  as  iron  and  fire,  which,  however,  are  two  distinct  sub 
stances,  are  blended  together  in  a  furnace,  so  that  in  each  of  its 
parts  there  is  at  once  iron  and  fire;  in  the  same-  .way,  and  a 
fortiori,  the  glorified  body  of  Christ  exists  in  all  the  parts  of  the 

Thus,  on  the  part  of  Luther  at  this  period,  there  was  perhaps 
some  return  to  scholastic  theology.  He  had  completely  discon 
nected  himself  with  it  in  the  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith  ;  but 
in  the  sacrament  he  abandoned  only  one  point,  that  of  transub- 
stantiation,  and  kept  the  other,  the  corporal  presence.  He  even 
went  the  length  of  saying,  that  he  would  rather  receive  only 
blood  with  the  pope  than  receive  only  wine  with  Zuinglius. 

The  great  principle  of  Luther  was  to  withdraw  from  the  doctrine 
and  customs  of  the  Church,  only  when  the  words  of  Scripture  ren 
dered  it  absolutely  necessary.  "  Where  has  Christ  ordered  the 
host  to  be  elevated  and  shown  to  the  people?"  asked  Carlstadt. 
"  And  where  has  Christ  forbidden  it?"  replied  Luther.  Here  is 
the  principle  of  the  two  Informations,  Ecclesiastical  traditions 
were  dear  to  the  Saxon  Reformer.  If  he  separated  from  them  in 
several  points,  it  was  only  after  severe  struggles,  and  because  it 
was  necessary,  first  of  all,  to  obey  the  Word.  But  when  the  letter 
of  the  Word  appeared  in  harmony  with  tradition  and  the  usage 
of  the  Church,  he  clung  to  it  with  imnioveable  firmness.  Now, 
this  is  just  what  happened  in  the  case  of  the  Supper.  He  denied 
not  that  the  word  is  might  be  taken  in  the  sense  pointed  out  by 
Zuinglius.  He  acknowledged,  for  instance,  that  it  was  necessary 
so  to  understand  it  in  the  words,  "  That  rock  was  Christ; "  x  but 
he  denied  that  it  could  have  this  meaning  in  the  institution  of  the 

In  one  of  the  later  schoolmen,  the  one  whom  he  preferred  to  all 
the  others,  Occam,2  he  found  an  opinion  which  he  embraced. 
Like  Occam,  he  abandoned  the  constantly  repeated  miracle,  in 
virtue  of  which,  according  to  the  Komish  Church,  the  body  and 
blood  are,  on  each  occasion,  after  consecration  by  the  priest,  sub 
stituted  for  the  bread  and  wine ;  and,  like  this  doctor,  he  substi 
tuted  for  it  an  universal  miracle,  performed  once  for  all, — that  of 
the  ubiquity  or  omnipresence  of  the  body  of  Jesus  Christ.  "  Christ, 

1 1  Cor.  x,  4.  2Diu  multumque  legit  scripta  Occam  cujus  acumen  antefere- 

bat  Thomse  et  Scoto.    (Melanc.  Vita  Luth.)    Often  and  long  he  read  the  writings  of 
Occam,  whose  acumen  he  preferred  to  Aauinas  and  Scotus. 

3  L 


said  he,  "  is  present  in  the  bread  and  wine,  because  he  is  present 
every  where,  and  especially  every  where  he  chooses."  x 

The  tendency  of  Zuinglius  was  quite  different  from  that  of  Luther. 
He  was  less  disposed  to  preserve  a  certain  union  with  the  universal 
Church,  and  maintain  a  connection  with  the  tradition  of  past  ages. 
As  a  theologian,  he  looked  to  the  Scriptures  alone,  from  which  he 
wished  to  receive  his  faith  freely,  and  immediately, without  troubling 
himself  with  what  others  had  previously  thought.  As  a  republican, 
he  looked  to  his  community  of  Zurich.  It  was  the  idea  of  the 
present  Church  that  engrossed  him,  not  the  idea  of  the  Church  of 
other  times.  He  dwelt  particularly  on  these  words  of  St.  Paul, 
"  Because  there  is  but  one  bread, — we  who  are  many  are  one  lody" 
And  he  saw  in  the  Supper  the  sign  of  a  spiritual  communion  be 
tween  Christ  and  all  Christians.  "  Whoever,"  he  said,  "  conducts 
himself  unworthily,  becomes  guilty  towards  the  body  of  Christ,  of 
which  he  forms  part."  This  idea  had  a  great  practical  influence ; 
and  the  effects  which  it  produced  on  the  lives  of  many  persons, 
confirmed  Zuinglius  in  it. 

Thus  Luther  and  Zuinglius  had  insensibly  withdrawn  from  each 
other.  Perhaps,  however,  peace  would  have  longer  subsisted 
between  them,  had  not  the  turbulent  Carlstadt,  who  was  coming 
and  going  between  Germany  and  Switzerland,  set  fire  to  these 
opposite  opinions. 

A  proceeding,  taken  to  maintain  peace,  had  the  effect  of  kindling 
war.  The  council  of  Zurich,  wishing  to  prevent  all  controversy, 
prohibited  the  sale  of  Carlstadt's  writings.  Zuinglius,  who  dis 
approved  of  the  violence  of  Carlstadt,  and  blamed  his  mystical  and 
obscure  expressions,2  then  thought  himself  bound  to  defend  his 
doctrine,  whether  in  the  pulpit  or  before  the  council,  and  soon  after 
wrote  pastor  Albert  of  Keutlingen  a  letter,  in  which  he  said, 
"  Whether  or  not  Christ  speaks  of  the  Sacrament  in  the  sixth  chap 
ter  of  John,  it  is  very  clear  that  he  speaks  of  a  mode  of  eating  his 
flesh  and  drinking  his  blood,  in  which  there  is  nothing  corporeal." 
He  then  endeavoured  to  prove  that  the  Supper,  by  reminding  be 
lievers,  according  to  Christ's  intention,  of  his  body  broken  for  them, 
procured  for  them  that  spiritual  eating,  which  alone  is  truly  salu 

Still  Zuinglius  was  as  yet  very  averse  to  a  rapture  with  Lnthef. 
He  trembled  to  think  that  new  dissensions  should  rend  this  new 

1  Occam  und  Luther.  Studien  und  Kritiken,  183!),  p.  69.  2  Quod  morosior 

cst  (Carlstadius)  in  cseremoniis  non  ferendis,  non  admodum  probo.  (Z\v.  Ep.  p.  369.) 

3  A  manducatione  cibi,  qui  ventrem  implet,  transit t  ad  verbi  manducationem,  quam 
cibum  vorat  coelestem,  qui  mundum  vivificet.  (Z\v.  Op.  iii,  p  573.v  From  the  eating 
of  food,  which  nourishes  the  body,  he  passed  to  the  eating  of  what  he  calls  heavenlj 
food,  which  shall  tjive  life  to  the  world. 


society  which  was  then  forming  in  the  midst  of  decayed  Christen 
dom.  Luther  did  not  feel  in  the  same  way.  He  hesitated  not  to 
class  Zuinglhis  with  the  enthusiasts,  with  whom  he  had  already 
broken  so  many  lances.  He  did  not  reflect  that  if  images  had 
been  removed  at  Zurich,  it  was  legally  and  by  public  authority. 
Accustomed  to  the  forms  of  the  Germanic  States,  he  had  little 
acquaintance  with  the  procedure  of  Swiss  republics;  and  he  in 
veighed  against  the  grave  Helvetic  theologians,  as  against  the 
Munzers  and  Carlstadts. 

Luther  having  published  his  treatise  against  "  the  heavenly  pro 
phets"  Zuinglius  no  longer  hesitated,  and  published  almost  at  the 
same  time  his  Letter  to  Albert,  and  his  Commentary  on  True  and 
False  Relic/ ion,  dedicated  to  Francis  I.  He  here  said,  "Since 
Christ,  in  the  sixth  chapter  of  John,  attributes  to  faith  the  power 
of  imparting  eternal  life,  and  uniting  the  believer  with  himself  in 
the  most  intimate  manner,  Avhat  need  have  we  of  any  thing  else  ? 
Why  should  he  afterwards  have  attributed  this  virtue  to  his  flesh, 
while  he  himself  declares  that  his  flesh  profiteth  nothing  ?  The 
flesh  of  Christ,  in  so  far  as  it  was  put  to  death  for  us,  is  of  im 
mense  benefit  to  us :  for  it  saves  us  from  perdition ;  but  in  so  far 
as  eaten  by  us  does  us  no  good." 

The  struggle  commenced.  Pomeranus,  Luther's  friend,  rushed 
to  battle,  and  attacked  the  evangelist  of  Zurich  somewhat  too  dis 
dainfully.  (Ecolampadius  then  began  to  blush  at  having  so  long 
combated  his  doubts,  and  preached  doctrines  which  already  wavered 
in  his  mind.  He  took  courage,  and  wrote  from  Basle  to  Zuinglius. 
The  dogma  of  the  real  presence  is  the  fortress  and  strong  tower  of 
their  impiety.  So  long  as  they  keep  this  idol,  it  will  be  impossible 
to  vanquish  them.  He  then  also  entered  the  lists,  by  publishing 
a  tract  on  the  meaning  of  our  Saviour's  words,  "  This  is  my 

The  mere  fact  of  (Ecolampadius  joining  the  Eeformer  produced 
an  immense  sensation,  not  only  at  Basle,  but  throughout  Germany. 
Luther  was  deeply  moved  at  it.  Brcntz,  Schnepff  and  twelve  other 
pastors  of  Suabia,  to  whom  (Ecolampadius  had  dedicated  his  book, 
and  who  had  almost  all  been  his  pupils,  felt  the  greatest  pain. 
"  At  the  very  moment  of  separating  from  him  for  a  just  cause," 
said  Brentz,  in  taking  up  the  pen  to  answer  him,  "  I  honour  and 
admire  him  as  much  as  it  is  possible  to  do.  The  bond  of  love  is 
not  broken  between  us,  because  we  are  not  agreed."  Then  he 
published,  with  his  friends,  the  famous  Syngram  of  Suabia,  in  which 
he  replied  to  (Ecolampadius  firmly,  but  charitably  and  respectfully. 

1  He  took  the  word  is  in  its  ordinary  acceptation ;  but  by  body  ho  understood  a 
symbol  of  the  body. 


*'  If  an  emperor,"  said  tlie  authors  of  the  Syngram,  "  give  a  baton 
to  a  judge,  saying  to  him,  *  Take!  this  is  the  power  of  judging,'  the 
baton,  doubtless,  is  only  a  simple  symbol,  but  these  words  being 
added,  the  judge  has  not  only  the  symbol  of  power — he  has  power 
itself."  The  true  Reformed  Churches  may  admit  this  comparison. 
The  Syngram  was  received  with  acclamation ;  its  authors  were  re 
garded  as  the  champions  of  the  truth ;  several  theologians,  and 
even  laymen,  wishing  to  share  in  their  glory,  began  to  defend  the 
doctrine  which  was  attacked,  and  made  a  rush  at  (Ecolampadius. 
Strasburg  then  came  forward  as  a  mediator  between  Switzerland 
and  Germany.  Capito  and  Bucer  were  friends  of  peace,  and  the 
question  in  debate  was,  according  to  them,  of  secondary  impor 
tance  ;  they  therefore  placed  themselves  between  the  two  parties, 
sent  George  Cassel,  onfc  of  their  colleagues,  to  Luther,  and  besought 
him  not  to  break  the  bond  of  brotherhood  which  united  him  to  the 
teachers  of  Switzerland. 

No  where  was  Luther's  character  more  strikingly  manifested 
than  in  this  controversy  on  the  Supper.  Never  did  he  so  fully 
manifest  the  firmness  with  which  he  kept  to  what  he  believed  to 
be  a  Christian  conviction,  his  fidelity  in  seeking  a  foundation  for  it 
only  in  Scripture,  the  sagacity  of  his  defence,  and  his  animated,elo- 
quent,  often  over-powering  argumentation.  But  never,  also,  did 
he  more  strikingly  manifest  the  obstinacy  with  which  he  adhered 
to  his  own  views,  the  little  attention  which  he  paid  to  the  reasons  of 
his  adversaries,  and  the  uncharitable  readiness  which  led  him  to 
attribute  their  errors  to  the  wickedness  of  their  hearts  and  the  wiles 
of  the  devil.  "  One  or  other,"  said  he  to  the  mediator  of  Stras 
burg;  "  the  Swiss  or  we  must  be  the  ministers  of  Satan.  ..." 

This  was  what  Capito  called  "the  madness  of  the  Saxon  Orestes," 
and  the  madness  was  followed  by  exhaustion.  Luther's  health 
was  affected ;  one  day  he  fainted  away  in  the  arms  of  his  wife  and 
his  friends,  and  he  was  for  a  whole  week,  as  it  were,  "  in  death  and 
hell."  !  "  He  had,"  he  said,  "  lost  Jesus  Christ,  and  was  tossed 

to  and  fro  by  the  tempest  of  despair The  world  was 

mouldering  away,  and  announcing  by  prodigies  that  the  last  day 
was  at  hand." 

But  the  divisions  of  the  friends  of  the  Reformation  were  to  have 
still  more  fatal  consequences.  The  Roman  theologians  triumphed, 
especially  in  Switzerland,  in  being  able  to  oppose  Luther  to  Zuing- 
lius.  Still,  after  three  centuries,  the  remembrance  of  these  divi 
sions  furnish  evangelical  Christians  with  the  precious  fruit  of 
unity  in  diversity.  Even  then  the  Reformers,  by  setting  them 
selves  in  opposition  to  each  other,  showed  that  the  feeling  which 

1  In  morte  et  in  inferno  jactatus.    (L.  Ep.  iii,  p.  132.) 


animated  them  was  not  a  blind  hatred  of  Rome,  and  that  truth  was 
the  first  aim  of  their  researches.  Herein  it  must  be  acknowledged 
there  is  something  noble.  A  conduct  thus  disinterested  failed  not 
to  bear  some  fruit,  and  to  force,  even  from  enemies,  a  feeling  of 
interest  and  esteem. 

Nor  is  this  all.  We  may  here  perceive  that  the  Sovereign  hand 
which  disposes  of  all  events,  permits  nothing  without  the  wisest 
design.  Luther,  nowithstanding  of  his  opposition  to  the  papacy, 
was,  in  an  eminent  degree,  conservative.  Zuinglius,  on  the  con 
trary,  was  inclined  to  a  radical  reformation.  These  two  opposite 
tendencies  were  necessary.  If  only  Luther  and  his  adherents  had 
appeared  in  the  days  of  the  Reformation,  the  work  would  have 
been  too  soon  arrested,  and  the  reforming  principle  would  not  have 
fulfilled  its  task.  If,  on  the  contrary,  Zuinglius  only  had  appeared, 
the  thread  would  have  been  too  suddenly  snapped,  and  the  Re 
formation  would  have  been  isolated  from  the  ages  which  pre 
ceded  it. 

These  two  tendencies,  which,  on  a  superficial  glance,  may  seem 
to  have  existed  merely  that  they  might  oppose  each  other,  had,  on 
the  contrary,  a  task  to  accomplish,  and  we  are  able  to  say,  after 
a  lapse  of  three  centuries,  that  they  fulfilled  their  mission. 


The  Tockenburg—  An  Assembly  of  the  People— Reformation— The  Grisons— Dis 
cussion  of  Ilantz — Results — Reform  at  Zurich. 

Thus  the  Reformation  had  struggles  to  maintain  in  every  quar 
ter.  After  combating  with  the  rationalist  philosophy  of  Erasmus,  and 
the  fanatical  enthusiasm  of  the  Anabaptists,  it  had  still  a  struggle 
with  itself.  But  its  great  struggle  ever  was  with  the  papacy,  and 
the  attack  which  it  had  began  in  the  cities  of  the  plain,  it  now  con 
tinued  on  the  remotest  mountains. 

On  the  heights  of  the  Tockenburg,  the  sound  of  the  gospel  had 
been  heard,  and  three  ecclesiastics  were  prosecuted  by  order  of  the 
bishop  on  a  charge  of  heresy.  "  Let  them  convince  us,  with  the 
Word  of  God  in  their  hand."  said  Miiitus,  Boring,  and  Farer,  "  and 
we  will  submit,  not  only  to  the  chapter,  but  to  the  least  of  the 
brethren  in  Jesus  Christ ;  if  not,  we  will  not  obey  any  one,  not  even 
the  man  highest  in  power."  1 

This  was  indeed  the  spirit  of  Zuinglius  and  the  Reformation. 

1  Ne  potentisslmo  quidem,  sed  soli  Deo  ejusque  verbo.  (Z\v.  Ep.  p.  370.)  Not  to  the 
most  powerful  even,  but  to  God  alone,  and  his  Word. 


Shortly  after,  a  circumstance  occurred  which  inflamed  the  minds  of 
those  living  in  these  high  vallies.  An  assembly  of  the  people  had 
been  held  on  St.  Catherine's  day.  The  citizens  were  met,  and  two 
men  of  Schwitz,  who  had  come  to  the  Tockenburg  on  business,  were 
at  one  of  the  tables:  conversation  went  on;  "  Ulric  Zuinglius," 
exclaimed  one  of  them,  "  is  a  heretic  and  a  robber!"  Steiger, 
secretary  of  state,  undertook  the  Reformer's  defence;  the  noise 
drew  the  attention  of  the  whole  assembly.  George  Bruggman,  the 
uncle  of  Zuinglius,  who  was  sitting  at  another  table,  darted  from 
his  seat  in  a  rage,  exclaiming,  "  Certainly  it  is  of  Master  Zuinglius 
they  are  speaking."  All  the  guests  rose  and  followed  him,  fearing 
a  scuffle.1  The  tumult  increasing,  the  bailie  hastily  assembled  the 
council  in  the  open  street,  and  Bruggman  was  entreated  for  peace' 
sake  to  content  himsejf  with  saying  to  these  men,  "  If  you  do  not 
retract,  you  yourselves  are  the  parties  guilty  of  falsehood  and  rob 
bery."  "  Remember  what  you  have  just  said,  replied  the  men  of 
Schwitz,  "  we  too  will  remember  it."  They  then  mounted  their 
horses,  and  galloped  off  by  the  road  to  Schwitz.2 

The  government  of  Schwitz  sent  a  threatening  letter  to  the  in 
habitants  of  the  Tockenburg.  All  were  in  alarm.  "  Be  strong 
and  fearless,"  3  wrote  Zuinglius  to  the  council  of  his  native  district. 
"  Dont  let  the  lies  which  are  retailed  against  me  give  you  any  un 
easiness.  There  is  not  a  clamourerbut  who  can  call  me  heretic,  but  do 
you  abstain  from  insult,  disorder,  debauchery,  and  mercenary  wars ; 
assist  the  poor,  protect  the  oppressed,  and  whatever  be  the  insults 
poured  upon  you,  put  unshaken  confidence  in  Almighty  God."  * 

The  exhortations  of  Zuinglius  were  successful.  The  council  still 
hesitated,  but  the  people  assembled  in  their  parishes,  and  came  to 
an  unanimous  resolution,  that  the  mass  should  be  abolished,  and 
that  they  would  be  faithful  to  the  Word  of  God.5 

The  conquests  were  not  less  important  in  Rhetia,  which  Salan- 
dronius  had  been  compelled  to  quit,  but  where  Comander  boldly 
preached  the  gospel.  The  Anabaptists,  it  is  true,  preaching  their 
fanatical  doctrines  in  the  Grisons,  had  at  first  greatly  injured  the 
Reformation.  The  people  had  been  divided  into  three  parties. 
Some  had  thrown  themselves  into  the  arms  of  these  new  prophets; 
others,  looking  on  in  silent  astonishment,  were  disquieted  by  the 
schism.  In  fine,  the  partisans  of  Rome  shouted  triumph.6 

1  Totumque  convivium  sequi,  grandem  conflictum  timentes.    (Z\v.  Ep.  p.  371.) 

2  Auf  solches,  ritten  sie  wieder  heim.     (Ibid.,  p.  374.)  Macti  animo  este  etin- 
territi.    (Ibid.,  p.  351.)            4  Verbis  diris  abstinete  .  .  .  opem  ferte  egenis  .  .  .  spem 
certissimarn  in  Deo  reponatis  onmipotente.     (Ibid.)     One  of  the  dates  of  the  letters, 
14th  and  23rd,  1524.  must  be  erroneous,  or  a  letter  of  Zuinglius  to  his  fellow-moun 
taineers  of  the  Tockenburg  must  be  lost                6  Parochiae  uno  consensu  statuerunt 
m  verbo  Dei  manere.     (Ibid.,  p.  423.)           6  Pars  tertia  papistarum  est  in  immensum 
gloriantium  rie  schismate  inter  nos  facto.    (Ibid.,  p.  400.)     The  third  part  consists  of 
papists  glorying  immensely  in  our  schism. 


An  assembly  was  held  at  Ilantz,  in  the  country  of  the  Grisons, 
for  a  discussion:  the  supporters  of  the  papacy,  on  the  one  hand, 
and  the  friends  of  the  [Reformation  on  the  other,  drew  together 
their  forces.  The  vicar  of  the  bishop  endeavoured  at  first  to  evade 
the  combat.  "  These  discussions  occasioning  great  expense,"  said 
he,  "I  am  ready,  in  order  to  cover  it,  to  deposit  ten  thousand 
florins ;  but  I  demand  that  an  equal  sum  be  deposited  by  the 
other  party."  "  If  the  bishop  has  ten  thousand  florins  at  his  dis 
posal,"  exclaimed  the  burly  voice  of  a  peasant  from  amid  the  crowd, 
44  it  is  from  us  he  has  extorted  them ;  to  give  as  much  more  to 
these  poor  priests  would  truly  be  too  much."  "We  are  poor  people 
with  empty  purses,"  said  Comander,  pastor  of  Coire ;  "scarcely 
have  we  the  means  of  buying  soup  :  where  should  we  find  ten  thou 
sand  florins?  " L  Every  one  laughed  at  this  expedient,  and  nothing 
more  was  said  of  it. 

Among  those  present  were  Sebastian  Hofmeister  and  James  Am 
man  of  Zurich,  holding  in  their  hands  the  Holy  Scriptures  in  He 
brew  and  Greek.  The  vicar  of  the  bishop  demanded  that  strangers 
should  be  excluded.  Hofmeister  saw  that  this  was  aimed  at  him, 
and  said,  "We  have  come  provided  with  a  Greek  and  Hebrew 
Bible,  in  order  that  no  violence  may  be  done  in  any  manner  of 
way  to  the  Scriptures.  However,  sooner  than  prevent  the  confer- 
once,  we  are  ready  to  withdraw."  "  Ah,"  exclaimed  the  curate  of 
Dintzen,  looking  at  the  books  of  the  two  Zurichers,  "  if  the  Greek 
tongue  and  the  Hebrew  tongue  had  never  entered  our  country, 
there  would  be  fewer  heresies."  2  "  St.  Jerome,"  said  another, 
"translated  the  Bible  for  us ;  we  have  no  need  of  Jewish  books." 
"If  the  Zurichers  are  excluded,"  said  the  banneret  of  Ilantz,  "the 
community  will  interfere."  "  Well  then,"  it  was  answered,  "  let 
them  listen,  but  say  nothing!"  The  Zurichers  accordingly  re 
mained,  and  their  Bible  with  them. 

Then  Comander  standing  up,  read  the  first  of  the  theses  which 
he  had  published.  It  was — "  The  Christian  Church  springs  from 
the  Word  of  God.  It  must  abide  by  this  Word,  and  listen  only  to 
its  voice."  He  proceeded  to  prove  his  proposition  by  numerous 
passages  of  Scripture.  "  He  walked  with  a  sure  step,"  said  an 
eye-witness,3  "  and  set  down  his  foot  with  the  tramp  of  an  ox." 
"  We  have  too  much  of  this,"  said  the  vicar.  "  When  among  his 
boon  companions  listening  to  the  flute,"  said  Hofmeister,  "he  does 
not  find  it  too  much."  4 

1  Sie  wa'ren  gute  nrme  Gesellen  mit  lehren  Secklen.     (Fiissl.  Beytr.  i,  p.  358.) 

2  Ware  die  Griechische  und  Hebraische  Sprache  nicht  in  das  Land  gekommen. 
(Ibid.,  p.  360.)  3  Satzte  den  Fuss  wie  ein  milder  Ochs.     (Ibid.,  p.  362.)         *  Den 
Fieiffern  zuzuhbren,  die  ...  \vie  den  Fiirsten  hofierten.    (Ibid.) 


A  man  rose  from  the  middle  of  the  assembly  and  came  forward, 
waving  his  arms,  twinkling  with  his  eyes,  and  knitting  his  brows,1 
and  apparently  out  of  his  senses:  he  sprang  towards  Comander,  and 
several  thought  he  was  going  to  strike  him.  It  was  a  schoolmaster 
of  Coire.  "  I  have  put  down  several  questions  for  you  in  writing," 
said  he  to  Comander,  "  answer  them  instantly."  "  I  am  here," 
said  the  Grison  Reformer,  to  defend  my  doctrine ;  attack  it,  and  I 
will  defend  it :  if  not,  return  to  your  place.  I  will  answer  you  when 
I  have  done."  The  schoolmaster  stood  for  a  moment  in  suspense. 
"Very  good,"  he  at  length  said,  and  resumed  his  seat. 

It  was  proposed  to  pass  to  the  doctrine  of  the  sacraments.  The 
Abbot  of  St.  Luke  declared  it  was  not  without  fear  he  approached 
such  a  subject,  while  the  frightened  vicar  made  the  sign  of  the 

The  schoolmaster,  who  had  already  desired  to  attack  Comander, 
began  with  much  volubility  to  maintain  the  doctrine  of  the  sacra 
ments,  founding  on  the  words,  "  This  is  my  body."  "  Dear  Berre," 
said  Comander  to  him,  "how  do  you  understand  the  words, 
'  John  is  Elias '  ?"  "I  understand,"  replied  Berre,  who  saw  Com- 
ander's  drift,  "  that  he  was  truly  and  essentially  Elias."  "  And 
why  then,"  continued  Comander,  "  did  John  Baptist  himself  say 
that  he  was  not  Elias  ?"  The  schoolmaster  was  silent,  and  at 
length  said,  "  It  is  true."  There  was  a  general  burst  of  laughter, 
even  from  those  who  had  employed  him  to  speak. 

The  Abbot  of  St.  Luke  delivered  a  long  harangue  on  the  Sup 
per,  and  the  conference  was  closed.  Seven  priests  embraced  the 
evangelical  doctrine ;  full  religious  freedom  was  proclaimed,  and 
the  Eomish  ritual  was  abolished  in  several  churches.  "  Christ," 
to  use  the  words  of  Salandronius,  "  every  where  sprang  up  in  these 
mountains  like  the  tender  grass  in  spring,  and  the  pastors  were 
like  living  springs  which  watered  these  high  vallies.2 

The  Reformation  made  still  more  rapid  strides  at  Zurich.  The 
Dominicans,  Augustins,  and  Capuchins  were  compelled  to  live  to 
gether — the  hell  anticipated  for  these  poor  monks.  Instead  of  these 
corrupt  institutions,  schools,  an  hospital,  and  a  theological  seminary, 
were  founded.  Knowledge  and  charity  every  where  took  the  place 
of  idleness  and  selfishness. 

1  Blintzete  mit  den  Augen,  rumpfete  die  Stirne.     (Fiissl,  Beytr.  i,  p.  368.) 
a  Vita,  moribus  et  doctrina  herbescenti  Christo  apud  Rhcetos  fons  irrigans      (Zw 
Ep.  p.  485,) 




Executions — Discussion  at  Baden — Rules  of  the  Discussion — Riches  and  Poverty — 
Eck  and  (Ecolampadius— Discussion— Part  taken  by  Zuinglius— Boasting  of  the 
Romans — Insults  of  a  Monk— End  of  the  Discussion. 

These  victories  of  the  Keformatiou  could  not  be  overlooked. 
Monks,  priests,  and  prelates,  transported  with  rage,  felt  that  the 
ground  was  every  where  moving  from  under  their  feet,  and  that 
the  Church  was  ready  to  give  way  before  unparalleled  dangers. 
The  oligarchs  of  the  cantons — the  men  of  pensions  and  foreign  en 
listments,  became  aware  that  they  could  no  longer  delay,  if  they 
wished  to  save  their  privileges;  and  at  the  moment  when  the 
Church  was  in  fear  and  beginning  to  sink,  they  offered  her  their 
arm  of  steel.  A  Stein  and  a  John  Hug  of  Lucerne  united  with  a 
John  Faber,  and  the  civil  authority  rushed  to  the  assistance  of 
that  hierarchical  power  which  utters  high  sounding  words  of  pride, 
and  makes  war  on  the  saints.1 

Public  opinion  had  long  been  demanding  a  discussion.  There 
was  no  other  means  of  calming  the  people.2  The  Councils  of  Zu 
rich  had  said  to  the  Diet — "' Convince  us  from  Scripture,  and  we 
will  yield  to  your  invitations."  It  was  every  where  repeated, 
"  The  Zurichers  have  given  you  a  promise:  if  you  can  convince 
them  by  the  Bible,  why  don't  you  do  it  ?  and  if  you  cannot,  why 
don't  you  conform  to  the  Bible?" 

The  conferences  held  at  Zurich  had  exercised  an  immense  in 
fluence  :  it  was  necessary  to  oppose  them  with  a  conference  held 
in  a  Romish  town,  taking  all  necessary  precautions  to  secure  the 
victory  to  the  papal  party. 

It  is  true  these  discussions  had  been  declared  unlawful ;  but 
means  were  found  to  escape  from  this  difficulty.  "The  only  thing 
to  be  done, "it was  said,  "is  to  arrest  and  condemn  the  pernicious 
doctrines  of  Zuinglius."3  This  being  agreed,  a  stout  champion 
was  wanted,  and  Dr.  Eck  presented  himself.  He  had  no  fear.  His 
expression,  according  to  Hofmeister,  was,  "  Zuinglius  has  doubt 
less  milked  more  cows  than  he  has  read  books."  4 

The  great  Council  of  Zurich  sent  Dr.  Eck  a  safe  conduct  to  come 
to  Zurich  itself;  but  Eck  replied  that  he  would  await  the  answer 
of  the  confederation.  Zuinglius  then  offered  to  debate  at  St.  Gall 
or  Schaff hausen ;  but  the  Council,  founding  on  an  article  of  the 

1  Rev.  xiii.  2  Das  der  gmeir  man,  one  erne  offne  disputation,  nitt  zii  stillen 

was.    (Hulling.  Chr.  i,  p.  331.)  3  Diet  of  Lucerne,  13th  of  March,  1526.  *  Er 

liabe  \vohl  mehr  Kiihe  gemolken  als  BUcher  gelesen.    (Zw.  Op.  ii,  p.  405.) 


federal  compact,  which  bore,  "  that  every  person  accused  shall 
be  tried  in  the  place  where  he  resides,"  ordered  Zuinglius  to  with 
draw  his  offer. 

The  Diet  at  length  decreed  that  a  conference  should  take  place 
at  Baden,  and  fixed  it  for  the  16th  May,  1526.  This  conference 
was  to  be  important,  for  it  was  the  result  and  seal  of  the  alliance 
which  had  been  made  between  the  ecclesiastical  power  and  the  oli 
garchs  of  the  confederation.  "  See,"  said  Zuinglius  to  Vadian, 
"  what  the  oligarchs  and  Faber  dare  at  this  hour  to  under 

Accordingly,  the  decision  of  the  Diet  produced  a  great  impres 
sion  in  Switzerland.  It  was  not  doubted  that  a  conference,  held 
under  such  auspices,  would  prove  unfavourable  to  the  Reforma 
tion.  It  Avas  said  at  Zurich,  "Do  not  the  five  cantons  most  de 
voted  to  the  pope  rule  in  Baden  ?  Have  they  not  already  declared 
the  doctrine  of  Zuinglius  heretical,  and  employed  sword  and  fire 
against  it  ?  Has  not  Zuinglius  been  burned  in  effigy  at  Lucerne, 
after  being  subject  to  all  kinds  of  insult?  Have  not  his  writings 
been  given  to  the  flames  at  Friburg?  Is  not  his  death  every  where 
longed  for?  Have  not  the  cantons  which  exercise  sovereign 
rights  in  Baden  declared  that,  should  Zuinglius  set  foot  on  any 
part  whatever  of  their  territory,  they  would  apprehend  him  ?  2  Has 
not  Uberlingen,  one  of  their  leaders,  said,  that  his  only  wish  in  this 
world  was  to  hang  Zuinglius,  were  he  himself  to  be  the  executionei 
on  the  last  day  of  his  life  ?  3  And  has  not  Dr.  Eck  been  crying 
for  years  that  heretics  must  be  attacked  with  fire  and  sword?  What 
then  will  be  this  discussion,  and  what  the  issue  of  it,  but  just  the 
death  of  the  Reformer ! 

Such  were  the  fears  which  agitated  the  committee  appointed  at 
Zurich  to  examine  this  affair.  Zuinglius,  who  was  a  witness  of 
then-  agitation,  rose  and  said,  "You know  what  was  the  fate  of  the 
valiant  men  of  Stammheim  at  Baden,  and  how  the  blood  of  the 
Wirths  dyed  the  scaffold  .  .  .  and  we  are  invited  to  the  very  place 
of  their  execution.  .  .  .  Let  the  place  of  conference  be  Zurich, 
Berne,  St.  GaU,  or  even  Basle,  Constance,  Schaffhausen ;  let  it  be 
agreed  to  discuss  fundamental  points  only,  employing  only  the 
Word  of  God.  Let  no  judge  be  set  over  it;  in  that  case,  I  am 
ready  to  appear."  4 

Meanwhile  fanaticism  bestirred  herself,  and  made  victims.  A 
consistory,  headed  by  this  same  Faber  who  challenged  Zuinglius, 
on  10th  May,  1526,  (about  eight  days  before  the  discussion  of 

i  Vide  nunc  quid  audeant  oligarch!  atque  Faber.    (Zw.  Ep.  p.  484.)  a  Zwingli 

in  ihrem  Gebiet,  wo  er  betreten  werde,  gefaugen  zu  nehmen.  (Ibid.,  p.  422.)  3  Da 
wollte  er  gern  all  sein  Lebtag  ein  Henker  genannt  warden.  (Ibid.,  p.  454.)  *  Wel- 
leiid  wir  ganz  geneigt  yn  ze  erschynen.  (Ibid.,  p.  423.) 


Baden,)  condemned  to  the  flames  as  a  heretic  an  evangelical  minister 
named  John  Hiigle,  pastor  of  Lindau,1  who  walked  to  execution 
singing  the  Te  Deum.  At  the  same  time  Peter  Spengler,  another 
minister,  was  drowned  at  Friburg  by  order  of  the  Bishop  of  Con 

From  all  quarters  sinister  rumours  reached  Zuinglius.  His 
brother-in-law,  Leonard  Tremp,  wrote  him  from  Berne,  "I  beseech 
you,  as  you  value  your  life,  don't  come  to  Baden.  I  know  that  the 
safe-conduct  will  be  violated." 2 

It  was  confidently  stated  that  a  plan  had  been  formed  to  carry 
him  off,  gag  him,  put  him  into  a  boat,  and  carry  him  to  some  un 
known  place.8  In  the  view  of  these  menaces  and  scaffolds,  the 
council  of  Zurich  decreed  that  Zuinglius  should  not  go  to  Baden.4 

The  discussion  being  fixed  for  the  19th  May,  the  combatants, 
the  representatives  of  the  cantons,  and  the  bishops,  began  gradu 
ally  to  arrive.  On  the  part  of  the  Roman  Catholics  appeared,  first 
of  all,  the  warlike  and  vain-glorious  Dr.  Eck :  on  the  part  of  the 
Protestants,  the  modest  and  gentle  (Ecolampadius.  The  latter  was 
well  aware  of  the  perils  of  this  discussion.  As  an  old  biographer 
expresses  it, — like  a  timid  stag  pursued  by  raging  dogs,  he  had 
long  hesitated.  At  last  he  determined  to  repair  to  Baden.  Previ 
ously,  however,  he  put  forward  the  solemn  protestation,  "I  acknow 
ledge  no  rule  of  judgment  but  the  Word  of  God."  At  first  he  had 
earnestly  desired  that  Zuinglius  should  share  his  dangers  ;5  but  he 
soon  doubted  not  that  if  the  intrepid  teacher  had  appeared  in  this 
fanatical  town,  the  rage  of  the  Roman  Catholics  firing  at  his 
presence  would  have  put  them  both  to  death. 

The  first  thing  done  was  to  determine  the  laws  of  the  combat. 
Dr.  Eck  proposed  that  the  deputies  of  the  Wallenstein  should  be 
appointed  to  pronounce  a  definitive  judgment.  This  was  just  to 
anticipate  the  condemnation  of  the  Reformation.  Thomas  Plater, 
who  had  come  from  Zurich  to  Baden  to  be  present  at  the  confer 
ence,  was  despatched  by  (Ecolampadius  to  Zuinglius  to  obtain  his 
opinion.  Having  arrived  at  night,  he  found  some  difficulty  in 
gaining  admission  into  the  Reformer's  house.  "Unfortunate  dis 
turber,"  said  Zuinglius  to  him,  rubbing  his  eyes.  "For  six  weeks 
now,  (thanks  to  this  discussion,)  I  have  not  been  in  bed.6  .... 
What  is  your  message?"  Plater  explained  the  proposals  of  Dr. 
Eck.  "And  who,"  replied  Zuinglius,  "  would  put  these  peasants 

1  Htinc  hominem  hsereticum  damnamus,  projicimus  et  conculcamus.  (Hotting. 
Ilelv.  K.  Gesch,  iii,  p.  300.)  This  heretic  we  condemn,  cast  forth,  and  trample  under 
our  feet.  2  Caveatis  per  caput  vestrum.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  483.)  3  Navigio 

captum,  ore  mox  obturato,  clam  fuisse  deportandum.    (Osw.  Myc.  Vit.  Zw.) 

*  Zwinglium  Senatus  Tigurinus  Badenam  demittere  vccnsavit.     rlhid.)  »  Si 

periciltaberis,  periclitabhnur  omnes  tecum.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  311'.)  If  you  are  in  dnn^r,  we 
will  all  be  endangered  with  you.  «  Ich  bin  in  6  WocLeu  nie  in  das  Beth  Konu 

men.    (Plater's  Leben,  p.  263.) 



into  a  condition  to  comprehend  such  things  ?  Verily  the  milking 
of  cows  would  be  more  intelligible  to  them." 1 

On  21st  May,  the  conference  commenced.  Eck  and  Faber, 
accompanied  by  prelates,  magistrates,  and  doctors,  clothed  in 
vestments  of  damask  and  silk,  and  decked  with  rings,  chains,  and 
crosses,  repaired  to  the  church.2  Eck  strutted  proudly  into  a  mag 
nificently  ornamented  pulpit,  while  the  humble  (Eeolampadius,  in 
mean  clothing,  had  to  face  his  haughty  opponent  on  a  platform  of 
rude  construction.  "  The  whole  time  the  conference  lasted,"  says 
the  chronicler  Bullinger,  "  Eck  and  his  people  were  lodged  at  the 
curacy  of  Baden,  making  good  cheer,  leading  a  gay  and  scandalous 
life,  and  drinking  much  wine  with  which  the  abbot  of  Wettin- 
gen  supplied  them.3  Eck,"  it  was  said,  "bathes  at  Baden — in 
wine."  The  evangelicals,  on  the  contrary,  made  a  poor  appearance, 
and  were  laughed  at  as  a  band  of  mendicants.  Their  mode  of  life 
contrasted  strikingly  with  that  of  the  champions  of  the  papacy.  The 
host  of  the  inn  of  the  Pike,  where  (Eeolampadius  lodged,  being 
desirous  to  see  what  he  was  doing  in  his  room,  stated,  that,  when 
ever  he  looked  in,  he  saw  him  reading  or  praying.  It  must  be 
confessed,"  said  he,  "  that  he  is  a  very  pious  heretic." 

The  discussion  lasted  eighteen  days,  and,  during  the  whole  period, 
the  clergy  of  Baden  daily  made  a  solemn  procession,  chanting  litanies 
in  order  to  obtain  the  victory.  Eck  was  sole  speaker  in  defence  of 
the  Romish  doctrine.  It  was  still  the  champion  of  the  Leipsic  dis 
cussion,  with  his  German  accent,  his  broad  shoulders,  and  powerful 
lungs,  an  excellent  public  crier,  with  more  in  his  exterior  of  the 
butcher  than  of  the  divine.  He  debated,  according  to  his  wont, 
with  great  violence,  trying  to  wound  his  opponents  by  cutting 
expressions,  and  sometimes  even  mincing  an  oath.4  But  the  pre 
sident  never  called  him  to  order. 

Eck  thumps  the  desk  with  feet  and  hands, 
And  roars,  and  raves,  and  scolds,  and  bans. 
"  What  pope  and  cardinals  propound 
I  hold  as  creed,  ay  creed  most  sound."  6 

(Eeolampadius,  on  the  contrary,  with  a  serene,  noble,  and  patri 
archal  air,  spoke  so  meekly,  and,  at  the  same  time,  with  so  much 
ability  and  courage,  that  even  his  adversaries,  moved  and  trans 
ported,  said,  one  to  another,  "  Oh,  if  the  tall  yellow  man  were  on 
our  side."  6  His  equanimity,  however,  was  occasionally  disturbed  on 

!Sie  verstunden  sich  bas  auf  Kuh  malken.    (Plater's  Leben,  p.  263.)  2  Mit 

Syden,  Damast  und  Sammet  bekleydet.    (Bull.  Chr.,  i,  p.  351.)  3  Verbruchten 

vil  wyn.    (Ibid.)  4  So  entwuscht  imm  ettwan  ein  Schwiir.    (Ibid.) 

5  Egg  zablet  mit  fussen  und  henden 
Fing  an  schelken  und  schenden,  etc. 

(Contemporaneous  Poetry  of  Nicolas  Manuel  of  Berne.) 
^   e  0  were  dor  lange  gal  man  uff  uuser  sy  ten.    (Bull.  Chr.,  i,  p.  353.) 


seeing  the  enmity  and  violence  of  the  hearers.  "  Oh!"  said  he, 
"  with  what  impatience  they  listen  to  me;  but  God  is  not  wanting 
to  his  own  glory,  and  this  is  all  that  we  seek." 1 

(Ecolampadius,  having  attacked  the  first  thesis  of  Dr.  Eck, 
which  turned  on  the  real  presence,  Haller,  who  had  arrived  at  Baden 
after  the  commencement  of  the  discussion,  entered  the  lists  against 
the  second.  Little  accustomed  to  such  conferences,  of  a  timid  dis 
position,  trammelled  by  the  orders  of  his  government,  and  embar 
rassed  by  the  looks  of  his  avoyer,  G-aspard  Mullinen,  Haller  had  not 
the  proud  confidence  of  his  antagonist,  but  he  had  more  real  force. 
After  Haller  had  finished,  (Ecolampadius  again  entered  the  lists, 
and  pressed  Dr.  Eck  so  closely,  that  he  was  reduced  to  the  neces 
sity  of  only  appealing  to  the  usage  of  the  Church.  4 '  Usage,"  replied 
(Ecolampadius,  "has  only  weight  in  our  Switzerland  according  to 
the  constitution;  now,  in  matters  of  faith,  the  constitution  is  the 

The  third  thesis,  on  the  invocation  of  saints,  the  fourth,  on 
images,  and  the  fifth,  on  purgatory,  were  successively  discussed. 
Nobody  rose  to  dispute  the  truth  of  the  two  last  theses,  which 
turned  upon  original  sin  and  baptism. 

Zuinglius  took  an  active  part  in  the  whole  discussion.  The 
Catholic  party,  who  had  four  secretaries,  had  forbidden  any  other 
person,  under  pain  of  death,  from  taking  any  thing  down  in  writing.2 
But  a  student  of  the  Valais,  named  Jerome  Walsch,  who  possessed  a 
very  retentive  memory,  fixed  what  he  had  heard  in  his  mind,  and, 
hastening  home,  wrote  it  down.  Thomas  Plater,  and  Zimmerman 
of  Winterthur,  daily  carried  these  notes  and  letters  from  (Ecolam 
padius  to  Zuinglius,  and  brought  back  the  Reformer's  answers. 
All  the  gates  of  Baden  were  guarded  by  soldiers,  armed  with  hal- 
berts,  and  the  two  messengers  were  obliged,  by  divers  excuses, 
to  elude  the  interrogatories  of  the  soldiers,  who  did  not  understand 
why  these  youths  were  continually  returning  to  the  town.3  Thus 
Zuinglius,  though  absent  from  Baden  in  body  was  present  in  mind. 

He  counselled  and  encouraged  his  friends,  and  refuted  his 
enemies.  "Zuinglius,"  says  Oswald  Myconius,  "laboured  more 
by  his  meditations,  his  vigils,  and  his  counsels  sent  to  Baden,  than 
he  could  have  done  by  debating  personally  in  the  midst  of  his 

During  the  whole  conference  the  Roman  Catholics  kept  up  an 

1  Domino  suam  gloriam,  quam  salvam  cupimus  ne  utiquam  deserturo.     (Zw.  Ep. 
P-  511.  a  Man  sollte  einem  ohne  allcr  welter  Urtheilen,  deu  Kopf  abhauen. 

(Thorn.  Plateri.  Lebens  Beschreib.,  p.  262.  3  When  I  was  asked,  what  do  you 

come  here  for  ?  I  bring  chickens  to  sell  to  the  gentry  who  come  to  the  baths  ;  for 
chickens  were  given  me  at  Zurich,  and  the  guards  could  not  understand  how  I  could 
always  get  new  ones  so  quickly.  (Autobiography  of  Plater.)  4  Quam  laborasset 

iisputando  vel  inter  medios  hostes.  (Osw.  Myc.  Vit.  Zw.)  See  the  various  writings  of 
Zuinglius  relating  to  the  discussion  at  Baden.  (Op.  ii,  pp.  398—520.) 


agitation,  sent  letters  in  all  directions,  and  shouted  victory 
"  OEcolampadius,"  exclaimed  they,  "  conquered  by  Dr.  Eck,  and 
stretched  out  on  the  arena,  has  sung  a  palinode.1  The  reign  of 
the  pope  is  about  to  be  every  where  re-established.2"  These  shouts 
were  heard  over  all  the  cantons,  and  the  people,  ready  to  believe 
whatever  they  hear,  credited  all  these  boastings  of  the  partisans  of 

The  discussion  being  ended,  the  monk  Murner,  of  Lucerne,  who 
was  surnamed,  "  the  torn  cat,"  came  forward  and  read  forty  accu 
sations  directed  against  Zuinglius.  "  I  thought,"  said  he,  u  that 
the  coward  would  come  and  answer :  he  has  not  appeared.  Very 
well,  by  all  the  laws  which  govern  things  human  and  divine,  I 
declare  forty  times  that  the  tyrant  of  Zurich,  and  all  his  partisans, 
are  disloyal  subjects,  liars,  perjurers,  adulterers,  infidels,  robbers, 
blasphemers,  true  gallows  birds,  and  that  every  honest  man  must 
blush  at  being  in  any  way  connected  with  them."  Such  were  the 
insulting  terms  which,  at  this  early  period,  doctors,  whom  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church  herself  ought  to  have  disclaimed,  decorated 
with  the  name  of  "Christian  polemics." 

There  was  great  agitation  in  Baden:  the  general  feeling  being 
that  the  Roman  champions  had  made  the  loudest  noise,  but  used 
the  weakest  arguments.3  (Ecolampadins  and  ten  of  his  friends 
were  all  who  signed  the  rejection  of  Eck's  theses,  whereas,  eighty- 
four  persons,  among  whom  were  the  presidents  of  the  discussion  and 
all  the  monks  of  Witteniberg,  adhered  to  them.  Halier  had  left 
Baden  before  the  end  of  the  conference. 

The  majority  of  the  Diet  then  decided  that  Zuinglius,  the  head 
of  this  pernicious  doctrine,  having  refused  to  appear,  and  the  min 
isters  who  had  come  to  Baden  having  refused  to  be  convinced,  they 
were  all  cast  out  of  the  universal  Church.4 


Consequences  at  Basle,  Berne,  St.  Gall,  and  other  places— -Diet  at  Zurich— The  Small 
Cantons — Menaces  at  Berne — Foreign  Aid. 

But  this  famous  conference,  due  to  the  zeal  of  the  oligarchs  and 
clergy,  was  to  prove  fatal  to  both.    Those  who  had  then  con- 

1  (Ecolampadius  victus  jacet  in  arena  prostratus  ab  Eccio,  herbam  porrexit,    (Zw. 
Ep.  p.  514.)  2  Spem  concipiunt  Isetam  fore  ut  regnum  ipsorum  restituatur. 

(Ibid.,  p.  513.)  3  Die  Evangelische  weren  wol  uberschryen,  nicht  aber  uberdispu- 

tiert  worden.    (Hotting.  Ilelv.  K.  Gesch.  iii,  p.  320.)    "  *  Von  gemeiner  Kyle-hen 

jissgestossen.    (Rul!.  Clir.  p.  355.) 


tended  for  the  gospel,  on  returning  to  their  firesides,  were  to  fill 
their  fellow-citizens  with  enthusiasm  for  the  cause  which  they  had 
defended ;  and  two  of  the  most  important  cantons  of  the  Helvetic 
alliance  were  thenceforth  to  begin  to  break  off  all  connection  with 
the  papacy. 

It  was  on  OEcolampadius,  a  stranger  to  Switzerland,  that  the 
first  blows  were  to  fall,  and  he  returned  to  Basle  not  without  some 
misgivings.  But  his  disquietude  was  soon  dissipated.  His  mild 
sentences  had  struck  impartial  witnesses  more  than  the  clamour  of 
Dr.  Eck,  and  he  was  received  with  acclamation  by  all  pious  men. 
The  adversary,  it  is  true,  used  every  effort  to  exclude  him  from  the 
pulpit,  but  in  vain;  he  taught  and  preached  more  forcibly  than  be 
fore,  and  never  had  the  people  shown  such  thirst  for  the  Word.1 

Similar  results  followed  at  Berne.  The  conference  of  Baden, 
which  was  to  have  stifled  the  Keformation,  gave  it  a  new  impulse 
in  this  canton,  the  most  powerful  in  the  whole  Swiss  confederation. 
No  sooner  did  Haller  arrive  in  the  capital,  than  the  little  council 
summoned  him  to  appear,  and  ordered  him  to  celebrate  mass.  Hal 
ler  demanded  to  be  heard  before  the  great  council ;  and  the  people 
feeling  bound  to  defend  their  pastor,  flocked  in  crowds.  Haller, 
alarmed,  declared  that  he  would  sooner  leave  the  town  than  be  the 
cause  of  any  disturbance.  Tranquility  being  restored,  the  Reformer 
said,  "If  I  am  required  to  celebrate  this  ceremony,  I  resign  my 
charge :  the  honour  of  God  and  the  truth  of  his  holy  Word  are 
dearer  to  my  heart  than  any  anxiety  as  to  what  I  shall  eat,  or 
wherewithallshallbe  clothed."  Haller  spoke  these  words  with  deep 
emotion  ;  the  members  of  the  Council  were  affected  ;  even  some  of 
his  opponents  shed  tears.2  Moderation  proved  still  stronger  than 
force.  To  give  Kome  some  satisfaction,  Haller  was  deprived  of 
his  office  as  canon,  but  was  appointed  preacher.  His  most  violent 
enemies,  Louis  and  Anthony  Diesbach  and  Anthony  Erlach,  indig 
nant  at  this  resolution,  immediately  left  the  Council  and  the  town, 
and  renounced  their  right  of  citizenship.  "  Berne  has  had  a  fall," 
said  Haller,  "  but  it  has  risen  with  more  power  than  ever."  This 
firmness  of  the  Bernese  produced  a  great  impression  in  Switzerland.3 

But  the  consequences  of  the  conference  of  Baden  were  not  con 
fined  to  Berne  and  Basle.  While  these  things  were  taking  place 
there,  a  movement,  more  or  less  similar,  was  taking  place  in  seve 
ral  of  the  States  of  the  confederation.  The  preachers  of  St.  Gall, 
on  their  return  from  Baden,  preached  the  gospel:4  at  the  end  of  a 
conference,  the  images  were  removed  from  the  parochial  church  ol 

1  Plebe  Verbi  Domini  admodum  sitiente.     (Zw.  Ep.  p.  518.)  2  Tillier,  Gesch 

v.  Bern.,  5ii,  p.  242.)  3  Profuit  hie  nobis  Bernates  tam  dextre  in  servando  Berch- 

toldo  suo  egisse.  ((Ecol.  ad  Zw.  Ep.  p.  518.)  It  was  of  great  advantage  to  us  that  the 
Bernese  acted  so  dexterously  in  keeping  their  BertholdL  *  San  Gallenses  officiis 

suis  restitutes.     (Zw.  Ep,  p.  518.) 


St.  Lawrence,  and  the  inhabitants  sold  their  most  valuable  articles 
of  dress,  their  jewels,  their  rings,  their  gold  chains,  to  found  houses 
of  charity.  The  Reformation  spoiled,  but  it  was  to  clothe  the  poor, 
and  the  spoils  were  those  of  the  Reformers  themselves.1 

At  Mulhausen,  the  gospel  was  preached  with  new  courage. 
Thurgovia  and  the  Rheinthal  always  approximated  more  and  more 
to  Zurich.  Immediately  after  the  discussion,  Zurzach  carried  off 
the  images  of  its  churches,  and  the  district  of  Baden  almost  every 
where  received  the  gospel. 

Nothing  can  be  better  fitted  than  such  facts  to  prove  to  which 
party  the  victory  truly  belonged.  Accordingly  Zuinglius,  on  look 
ing  around  him,  gave  glory  to  God.  "  We  are  attacked  in  many 
ways,"  said  he,  "but  the  Lord  is  stronger  not  only  than  menaces, 
but  also  than  wars  themselves.  In  the  town  and  canton  of  Zu 
rich  there  is  an  admirable  agreement  in  favour  of  the  gospel.  We 
will  surmount  all  difficulties  by  prayers  offered  up  in  faith."2 
Shortly  after  addressing  Haller,  Zuinglius  said  to  him,  "  Every 
thing  here  below  follows  its  destiny.  To  the  boisterous  blast  of 
the  north  succeeds  a  gentler  breeze.  After  the  broiling  days  of 
summer,  autumn  pours  its  treasures  into  our  lap.  And  now,  after 
severe  combats,  the  Creator  of  all  things,  in  whose  service  we  are, 
opens  the  way  for  us  into  the  heart  of  the  enemy's  camp.  We  are 
still  able  to  receive  Christian  doctrine,  that  dove  so  long  driven 
off,  but  which  never  ceased  waiting  to  spy  the  hour  of  its  return. 
Be  thou  the  Noah  to  receive  and  save  it " 

This  same  year  Zurich  had  made  an  important  acquisition. 
Conrad  Pellican,  guardian  of  the  Franciscan  convent  at  Basle,  and 
professor  of  theology  at  twenty-four,  had  been  invited,  by  the  ex 
ertions  of  Zuinglius,  to  be  professor  of  Hebrew  at  Zurich.  "It  is 
long,"  said  he  on  arriving,  "  since  I  have  renounced  the  pope,  and 
desire  only  to  live  for  Jesus  Christ."  3  Pellican,  by  his  energeti 
cal  talents,  became  one  of  the  most  useful  labourers  in  the  work  of 
the  Reformation. 

Zurich  continuing  to  be  excluded  from  the  Diet  by  the  Romish 
cantons,  and  wishing  to  take  advantage  of  the  better  dispositions 
manifested  by  some  of  the  confederates,  in  the  beginning  of  1527, 
summoned  a  Diet,  to  be  held  at  Zurich  itself.  The  deputies  of  Berne, 
Basle,  Schaffhausen,  Appenzell,  and  St.  Gall,  repaired  to  it.  "  We 
wish,"  said  the  deputies  of  Zurich,  "  that  the  Word  of  God  which 
alone  leads  us  to  Christ  crucified,  should  alone  be  preached,  alone 
taught,  alone  magnified.  We  abandon  all  human  doctrines,  what 
ever  may  have  been  the  ancient  customs  of  our  forefathers,  certain 

1  Kostbare  Kleider,  Kleinodien,  Ring,  Ketten,  etc.  freywillig  verkauft.  (Hott  iii, 
p.  338.)  2  Fideli  enim  oratione  omnia  superabimus.  (Zw.  Ep.  p.  519.) 

3  Jamdudum  nanse  renuntiavi  et  Christo  vivere  concupivi.    (Ibid.,,  p.  455.1 



that  if  they  had  had  the  light  of  the  Divine  word  which  we  enjoy, 
they  would  have  embraced  it  with  more  respect  than  we,  their 
feeble  descendants,  do."1  The  deputies  present  promised  to  take 
the  representations  of  Zurich  into  consideration. 

Thus  the  breach  which  had  been  made  in  Rome  became  larger 
every  day.  The  discussion  of  Baden  was  to  have  repaired  all  her 
losses,  and  thereafter,  on  the  contrary,  cantons  which  had  been 
undecided  were  disposed  to  go  hand  in  hand  with  Zurich.  The 
inhabitants  of  the  plain  already  inclined  to  the  Reformation :  and 
now  she  drew  closer  to  the  mountains,  and  invaded  them,  while 
the  primitive  cantons,  which  were  in  a  manner  the  cradle,  and  are 
still  in  a  manner  the  citadel  of  Switzerland,  hemmed  in  by  their 
high  Alps,  seemed  alone  firmly  to  maintain  the  doctrine  of  their 
fathers.  These  mountaineers,  continually  exposed  to  violent 
tempests,  to  avalanches,  to  the  overflow  of  torrents  and  rivers, 
have  to  struggle  all  their  lives  against  these  formidable  enemies, 
and  to  sacrifice  every  thing  to  preserve  the  meadow  that  pastures 
their  flocks,  and  the  hut  which  shelters  them  from  the  storm,  but 
which  the  first  inundation  sweeps  away.  Accordingly,  a  conser 
vative  instinct  is  strongly  developed  in  them,  and  has  for  ages  been 
transmitted  from  generation  to  generation.  To  preserve  what  they 
have  received  from  their  fathers,  is  the  only  wisdom  recognised  in 
these  mountains.'  These  rude  Helvetians  accordingly  struggled 
against  the  Reformation,  which  sought  to  change  their  faith  and 
worship,  as  they  struggle  still  against  the  torrents  which  dash 
down  from  their  snowy  peaks,  or  against  the  new  political  ideas 
which  are  established  at  their  threshold  in  the  cantons  around 
them.  They  will  be  the  last  to  lay  down  their  arms  before  the 
double  power  which  is  already  displaying  its  signals  on  all  the  sur 
rounding  hills,  and  more  closely  threatening  these  conservative 

Accordingly,  at  the  period  of  which  I  speak,  these  cantons,  still 
more  irritated  against  Berne  than  against  Zurich,  and  trembling 
when  they  saw  this  powerful  State  escaping  from  them,  called  a 
meeting  of  their  deputies  at  Berne  itself,  eight  days  after  the  con 
ference  of  Zurich.  They  called  upon  the  council  to  depose  the 
new  teachers,  to  proscribe  their  doctrines,  and  to  maintain  the 
ancient  and  true  Christian  faith,  as  it  had  been  confirmed  by  cen 
turies  and  confessed  by  martyrs.  "Assemble  all  the  bailiwicks  of 
the  canton:  if  you  refuse,  we  will  take  it  upon  ourselves."  The 
Bernese  felt  irritated,  and  replied,  "  We  are  able  enough  to  speak 
to  our  own  constituents." 

1  M;t  hoherem  Werth  und  mehr  Dankbarkeit  dann  wir  angenommen.  (Zurich 
Archiv.  Absch.  Sonntag  nach  Lichtmcsso.) 


This  reply  only  increased  the  wrath  of  the  Waldstettes  and  those 
cantons  which  had  been  the  cradle  of  the  political  liberty  of  Swit 
zerland,  alarmed  at  the  progress  which  religious  liberty  was  making, 
began  even  to  look  abroad  for  allies  to  destroy  it.  In  combating 
the  enemies  of  enlistments  an  appeal  might  be  made  to  enlistments 
themselves,  and  if  the  oligarchs  of  Switzerland  were  insufficient, 
was  it  not  natural  to  have  recourse  to  the  princes  their  allies?  In 
fact,  Austria,  which  had  not  been  able  to  maintain  its  power  in  the 
confederation,  was  ready  to  interpose  for  the  purpose  of  then 
strengthening  the  power  of  Rome.  Berne  heard  with  dismay  that 
Ferdinand,  brother  of  Charles  V,  was  making  preparations  against 
Zurich,  and  against  all  the  adherents  of  the  Reformation.1 

Circumstances  were  becoming  more  critical.  A  succession  of 
events  more  or  less  unfortunate,  the  successes  of  the  Anabaptists,  the 
disputes  with  Luther  about  the  supper,  and  others  besides,  seemed  to 
have,  in  a  great  measure,  compromised  the  Reformation  in  Swit 
zerland.  The  discussion  of  Baden  had  disappointed  the  hopes  of 
the  friends  of  the  papacy,  and  the  sword  which  they  had  brandished 
against  their  enemies,  had  broken  in  their  hands ;  but  spite  and 
anger  had  increased,  and  a  new  effort  was  prepared.  Already, 
even  the  imperial  power  began  to  put  itself  in  motion,  and  the 
Austrian  bands,  which  had  been  forced  to  flee  from  the  defiles  of 
Mcrgarten  and  the  heights  of  Sempach,  were  ready  again  to  enter 
Switzerland,  with  colours  flying,  to  give  strength  to  tottering  Rome. 
The  moment  was  decisive.  It  was  no  longer  possible  to  chime  in 
with  both  parties,  arid  be  neither  "  muddy  nor  clear."  Berne  and 
other  cantons,  which  had  so  long  been  hesitating,  behoved  to  come 
to  a  determination.  It  was  necessary  to  return  promptly  to  the 
papacy,  or  rally  with  new  courage  under  the  standard  of  Christ. 

A  Frenchman,  from  the  mountains  of  Dauphiny,  by  name  Wil 
liam  Farel,  at  this  time  gave  a  powerful  impulse  to  Switzerland, 
determined  the  Reformation  of  Romish  Helvetia,  which  was  still 
in  a  profound  sleep,  and  thus  turned  the  balance  throughout  the 
confederation  in  favour  of  the  new  doctrines.  Farel  arrived  on  the 
field  of  battle  like  those  fresh  troops,  which  at  the  moment  when 
the  fate  of  arms  is  still  uncertain,  rush  into  the  thickest  of  the  fight, 
and  carry  the  day.  He  prepared  the  way  in  Switzerland  for 
another  Frenchman,  whose  stern  faith  and  powerful  genius  were 
to  put  a  finishing  hand  to  the  Reformation,  and  render  it  a  com 
plete  work.  In  this  way,  by  means  of  these  illustrious  men,  France 
took  rank  in  the  great  movement  which  was  agitating  Christian 
society.  It  is  time  to  turn  our  eye  toward  her. 

*  Berne  to  Zurich,  Monday  after  MisericurUe.    (Kirchoff,  B.  Haller,  p.  85.) 



CHAP.  I. 

Universality  of  Christianity — Enemies  of  the  Reformation  in  France — Heresy  and 
Persecution  in  Dauphiny — A  Gentleman's  Family — The  Family  Farel — Pilgrim 
age  to  St,  Croix — Immorality  and  Superstition— -William  desires  to  become  a 

UNIVERSALITY  is  one  of  the  essential  features  of  Christianity.  It 
is  not  thus  with  religions  of  human  origin.  They  adapt  them 
selves  to  certain  nations,  arid  to  the  degree  of  culture  which  they 
have  attained.  They  keep  these  nations  fixed  at  a  certain  point, 
or  if  by  any  extraordinary  circumstance  these  nations  rise  in  the 
scale,  religion  being  left  behind  thereby  becomes  useless. 

There  was  an  Egyptian,  a  Greek,  a  Latin,  and  even  a  Jewish 
religion ;  Christianity  is  the  only  religion  for  the  whole  human  race. 

Its  point  of  departure  in  man  is  sin — a  characteristic  which 
belongs  not  to  a  single  tribe,  but  is  the  inheritance  of  humanity. 
Accordingly,  satisfying  the  most  universal  and  the  most  elevated 
wants  of  our  nature,  the  gospel  is  received  as  coming  from  God  by 
the  most  barbarous  tribes,  and  the  most  civilised  nations.  It  does 
not  consecrate  national  peculiarities,  as  did  the  religions  of  an 
tiquity  ;  but  neither  does  it  destroy  them  as  modern  cosmopolism 
would  do.  It  does  better.  It  sanctifies,  ennobles,  elevates  them 
to  a  holy  unity  by  the  new  and  living  principle  which  it  imparts  to 

The  introduction  of  Christianity  into  the  world  has  produced  a 
great  revolution  in  history.  Till  then  there  was  only  a  history  of 
particular  nations ;  now  there  is  a  history  of  humanity  The  idea 
of  an  universal  education  of  the  human  race,  accomplished  by 
Jesus  Christ,  has  become  the  historian's  compass — the  key  of 
history,  and  the  hope  of  nations. 


But  Christianity  not  merely  acts  on  all  nations,  it  acts  on  all 
periods  of  their  history. 

At  the  moment  when  it  appeared,  the  world  was  like  a  torch  on 
the  point  of  being  extinguished.  Christianity  made  it  revive  as  a 
celestial  light. 

At  a  later  period,  the  barbarians,  rushing  upon  the  Roman  em 
pire,  had  broken  down  and  confounded  every  thing.  Christianity, 
opposing  the  cross  to  this  devastating  torrent,  thereby  subdued  the 
wild  child  of  the  north,  and  gave  humanity  a  new  form. 

A  corrupting  element,  however,  was  already  hidden  in  the  reli 
gion  brought  by  intrepid  missionaries  to  these  rude  tribes.  Their 
faith  came  from  Rome  almost  as  much  as  from  the  Bible.  This 
element  rapidly  increased :  man  was  every  where  substituted  for 
God,  (an  essential  feature  in  the  Romish  Church,)  and  a  renova 
tion  of  religion  became  necessary.  Christianity  accomplished  it 
at  the  period  of  which  we  write. 

The  history  of  the  Reformation  in  the  countries,  which  we  have 
already  surveyed,  has  shown  how  the  new  doctrine  rejected  the 
extravagances  of  the  Anabaptists  and  the  new  prophets,  but  infi 
delity  is  the  obstacle  which  it  encounters,  especially  in  the  king 
dom  towards  which  we  now  turn.  No  where  had  bolder  protests 
been  taken  against  the  superstitions  and  abuses  of  the  Church.  No 
where  was  there  seen  a  more  powerful  developement  of  a  certain 
love  of  letters,  a  love  which,  independent  of  Christianity,  often 
leads  to  irreligion.  France  earned  in  her  bosom  at  the  same  time 
two  reformations,  the  one  of  man,  the  other  of  God.  "  Two  nations 
are  in  thy  womb,  and  two  manner  of  people  shall  be  separated 
from  thy  bowels."  * 

In  France,  not  only  had  the  Reformation  to  combat  infidelity  as 
well  as  superstition,  there  was  a  third  enemy  which  it  had  not  en  - 
countered,  at  least  in  so  powerful  a  form  among  the  Germanic 
nations, — I  mean  immorality.  The  disorders  in  the  Church  were 
great ;  debauchery  sat  upon  the  throne  of  Francis  I  and  Catherine 
de  Medicis,  and  the  stern  virtues  of  the  Reformers  irritated  these 
"  Sardanapaluses."  2  Every  where,  no  doubt,  but  especially  iii 
France,  the  Reformation  behoved  to  be  not  only  doctrinal  and  ec 
clesiastical,  but  also  moral. 

The  violent  enemies  whom  the  Reformation  thus  encountered  at 
the  very  outset  among  the  French,  stamped  it  with  a  peculiar 
character.  No  where  did  it  dwell  so  much  in  dungeons,  and  re 
semble  primitive  Christianity  in  faith  and  charity,  and  the  number 
of  its  martyrs.  If  in  the  countries  of  which  we  have  hitherto 
spoken,  the  Reformation  was  more  glorious  by  its  triumphs  in  those 

1  Genesis,  xxv,  23.  a  Sardanapalus  (Henry  II)  inter  scorta,    (Calvini,  Ep.  M.S.) 


to  which  our  attention  is  now  to  be  directed,  it  was  rendered  more 
glorious  by  its  defeats.  If  elsewhere  it  can  show  more  thrones 
and  sovereign  councils,  here  it  can  enumerate  more  scaffolds  and 
meetings  in  the  wilderness.  Whoever  knows  what  constitutes  the 
true  glory  of  Christianity  on  the  earth,  and  the  features  which  give 
it  a  resemblance  to  its  Head,  will,  with  a  deep  feeling  of  respect 
and  love,  study  the  history,  the  often  times  bloody  history,  which 
we  are  going  to  relate. 

The  most  of  the  men  who  have  shone  on  the  stage  of  the  world 
were  bom  in  the  provinces,  and  there  began  to  be  developed.  Paris 
is  a  tree  which  presents  to  the  eye  a  great  deal  of  blossom  and 
fruit,  but  a  tree  whose  roots  spread  far  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth 
in  search  of  the  nourishing  juices  which  these  assimilate.  The  Re 
formation  also  followed  this  law. 

The  Alps,  which  saw  Christian  and  intrepid  men  appear  in  every 
canton,  and  almost  in  every  valley  of  Switzerland,  were  in  France 
also  to  throw  their  gigantic  shadows  over  the  childhood  of  some 
of  the  first  Reformers.  There  were  ages  when  they  kept  the  trea 
sure  more  or  less  pure  in  their  high  valleys,  among  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Piedmontese  districts  of  Luzerne,  Angrogne,  Peyrouse. 
The  truth,  which  Rome  had  not  been  able  to  attack  there,  had 
spread  from  these  valleys  along  the  slopes  and  at  the  foot  of  these 
mountains  in  Provence  and  Dauphiny. 

The  year  after  the  accession  of  Charles  VIII,  son  of  Louis  XI, 
a  sickly,  timid  child,  Innocent  VIII  had  encircled  his  brow  with 
the  pontifical  tiara  (1484).  He  had  seven  or  eight  sons  by  differ 
ent  mothers,  and  hence,  according  to  an  epigram  of  the  time, 
Rome  was  unanimous  in  saluting  him  by  the  name  of  Father  J- 

There  was  at  this  time  on  all  the  slopes  of  the  Alps  of  Dauphiny 
and  along  all  the  banks  of  the  Durance,  a  tinge  of  ancient  Vaudois 
principles.  "  The  roots,"  says  an  ancient  chronicler,  "  were  con 
stantly  and  every  where  setting  out  new  saplings."  2  Bold  men 
termed  the  Romish  Church  the  Church  of  the  evil  ones,  and  main 
tained  that  it  is  as  profitable  to  pray  in  a  stable  as  in  a  church. 

The  priests,  bishops,  and  legates  of  Rome  sent  forth  a  cry  of 
alarm,  and  on  the  fifth  of  the  calends  of  May,  1487,  Innocent  VIII, 
the  father  of  the  Romans,  launched  a  bull  at  these  humble  Chris 
tians.  "  To  arms,"  said  the  pontiff,  "  and  trample  these  heretics 
under  foot  as  venomous  asps."3 

1  Octo  nocens  pueros  genuit  totidemque  puellas. 

Hunc  merito  poterit  dicere  Roma  Patrem. 

2  In  Ebredunensi  archiepiscopatu  veteres  Waldeiifiium  haereticorum  fibrse  repul- 
lularunt.  (Raynald.  Annales  Ecclesiast.  ad  ann.  1487.)  3  Armis  insurgant, 

eosque  veluti  aspides  venenosos  ....  conculcent.  (Bull  of  Innocent  VIII,  preserved 
at  Cambridge.  Ledger  Histoire  des  Eglises  Vaudoises,  ii,  p.  &) 


At  the  approach  of  the  legate,  followed  by  an  army  of  eighteen 
thousand  men,  and  a  multitude  of  volunteers  who  wished  to  share 
the  spoil,  the  Vaudois  abandoned  their  dwellings,  and  withdrew  to 
the  mountains,  to  caverns,  and  the  clefts  of  rocks,  as  birds  fly 
away  the  moment  the  tempest  begins  to  grumble.  Not  a  valley, 
not  a  wood,  not  a  rock  escaped  the  persecutors ;  every  where  in 
this  part  of  the  Alps,  and  particularly  in  the  direction  of  Italy, 
these  poor  disciples  of  Christ  were  tracked  like  deer.  At  length 
the  satellites  of  the  pope  grew  weary,  their  strength  was  exhausted, 
their  feet  could  no  longer  climb  the  steep  retreats  of  "  the  heretics," 
and  their  arms  refused  to  strike. 

In  these  Alpine  countries,  thus  agitated  by  the  fanaticism  of 
Rome,  about  three  leagues  from  the  ancient  town  of  Gap,1  in  the 
direction  of  Grenoble,  not  far  from  the  flowery  turf  which  carpets 
the  flat  top  of  the  mountain  of  Bayard,  at  the  bottom  of  mount 
Aiguille,  and  near  the  Col  de  Glaize,  not  far  from  where  the  Buzon 
takes  its  rise,  there  was,  and  still  is,  a  group  of  houses  half  hid  by 
trees,  and  which  bears  the  name  of  Farel,  or,  in  provincial  dialect, 
Fareau.2  On  an  extensive  terrace  raised  above  the  neighbouring 
huts,  there  stood  one  of  those  houses  which  are  called  mansion 
houses.  It  was  surrounded  by  an  orchard  which  was  continued  to 
the  village.  There,  in  those  troublous  times,  lived,  as  it  appears, 
a  noble  family  of  known  piety,  of  the  name  of  Farel.3  In  the 
year  when  the  papacy  displayed  its  greatest  severities  in  Dauphiny, 
in  the  year  1489,  was  born,  in  this  modest  residence,  a  son,  who 
was  named  William.  Three  brothers,  Daniel,  Walter,  and  Claude, 
and  a  sister,  grew  up  with  William  and  shared  his  sports  on  the 
banks  of  the  Buzon,  and  at  the  foot  of  the  Bayard. 

There  passed  William's  childhood  and  early  youth.  His  father 
and  mother  were  most  devoted  servants  of  the  papacy.  He  says 
himself,  "  my  father  and  mother  believed  everything ;"  4  they  accord 
ingly  brought  up  their  children  in  all  the  observances  of  Home. 

God  had  endowed  William  Farel  with  rare  qualities,  fitted  to 
give  him  an  ascendancy  over  others.  Of  a  penetrating  intellect, 
a  lively  imagination,  great  sincerity  and  uprightness,  and  a  great 
ness  of  soul  which  would  not  allow  him,  for  any  consideration,  to 
betray  the  convictions  of  his  heart,  he  had,  moreover,  an  ardour 

1  Principal  town  in  the  High  Alps.  2  Survey  of  Dauphiny,  July,  1837,  p.  35, 

In  going  from  Grenoble  to  Gap,  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  after  passing  the  last  stage, 
about  a  stone  cast  to  the  ri^ht  of  the  public  road,  is  seen  the  village  of  the  Farels. 
The  terrace  on  which  the  house  of  Farel's  father  stood  is  still  shown.  It  is  now  in 
deed  only  occupied  as  a  hut,  but  we  see,  by  its  dimensions,  that  it  is  much  larger  than 
au  ordinary  house.  The  occupier  of  the  hut  bears  the  name  of  Farel.  I  owe  this  in 
formation  to  Mr.  Blanc,  pastor  of  Mens.  3  Gulielmum  Farellum  Delphinatem 
nobili  familia  ortum.  (Bezos  Icones.)  Calvin,  in  his  letter  to  Cardinal  Sadolet,  men 
tions,  as  proof  of  Farel's  disinterestedness,  "his  being  sprung  from  so  noble  a  house." 
(Opuscula,  p.  148.)  *  Of  the  True  Use  of  the  Cross,  by  William  Farel,  p.  237. 


a  fire,  an  indomitable  courage,  an  intrepidity  which  recoiled  at  no 
obstacle.  But,  at  the  same  time,  he  had  the  faults  which  accom 
pany  these  qualities,  and  his  parents  had  frequent  occasion  to  check 
his  violence. 

William  entered  with  his  whole  soul  into  the  superstitious  views 
of  his  credulous  family.  "  I  am  horrified,'1  said  he,  u  when  I  think 
of  the  hours,  the  prayers,  and  divine  services  which  1  have  paid, 
and  caused  to  be  paid,  to  the  cross  and  other  such  like  things.'1  J 

Four  leagues  to  the  south  of  Gap,  near  Tallard,  on  a  mountain 
which  rises  above  the  impetuous  waters  of  the  Durance,  was  a  place 
in  high  repute,  named  St.  Croix.  When  William  was  scarcely 
seven  or  eight  years  of  age,  his  parents  resolved  to  take  him  on  a 
pilgrimage.2  "  The  cross  at  this  place,"  said  they,  **  is  made  of  the 
real  wood  on  which  Jesus  Christ  was  crucified." 

The  family  set  out,  and  at  length  reached  the  venerated  cross, 
before  which  they  prostrated  themselves.  After  considering  the 
sacred  wood  and  the  copper  of  the  cross,  made,  said  the  priest,  of 
the  basin  in  which  our  Lord  washed  his  disciples'  feet,  the  eyes  of 
the  pilgrims  were  directed  to  a  little  crucifix  attached  to  the  cross. 
"  When  the  devils,"  resumed  the  priest,  "  make  hail  and  thunder; 
this  crucifix  moves  so  that  it  seems  to  detach  itself  from  the  cross, 
as  if  wishing  to  rush  against  the  devil.  It  also  throws  out  fiery 
sparks  previous  to  bad  weather:  did  it  not  do  so  the  whole  fruits  of 
the  earth  would  be  destroyed."  3 

The  pious  pilgrims  were  deeply  moved  on  being  told  of  these 
great  prodigies.  "  No  one,"  continued  the  priest,  "knows  and  sees 
any  of  these  things  save  I  and  this  man  .  .  ."  The  pilgrims  turned 
round  and  saw  a  man  near  them  of  a  strange  exterior.  "  His  very 
appearance  caused  fear,"  says  Farel.4  There  were  white  specks 
on  the  balls  of  both  his  eyes — "  whether  they  were  real,  or 
Satan  only  made  a  semblance  of  them."  This  extraordinary  man 
whom  the  unbelieving  called  "  the  priest's  sorcerer,"  being  appealed 
to  by  the  priest,  immediately  confirmed  his  statements.5  A  new 
episode  completed  the  picture,  and  to  superstition  added  a  suspicion 
of  criminal  irregularities.  "  Lo,  a  young  female,  who  had  some 
other  devotion  than  the  cross,  carrying  an  infant  under  her  cloak. 
Then  the  priest  came  forward,  and,  taking  the  woman  and  the 
child,  led  them  within  the  chapel.  I  venture  to  say,  ne'er  did 
dancer  take  a  female  and  lead  her  off  in  better  style.  But  the 
blindness  was  such  that  no  regard  was  paid  to  this.  Had  they 
even  acted  indecently  before  us,  we  should  still  have  deemed  it 

1  Of  the  True  Use  of  the  Cross,  by  William  Fare],  p.  232.  2  I  was  very  young 

i    and  could  scarcely  read.       (Ibid.,  p.  232.)      My  first  pilgrimage  -was  to  the  holy  cross. 
I    (Ibid.,  p.  233.)  a  Ibid.,  pp.  235— 239.  *  Ibid.,  p.  237.  3  ibid,.  -J&S. 


good  and  holy.  It  was  too  clear  that  the  woman,  and  her  gallant 
of  a  priest,  well  knew  the  miracle,  and  made  it  a  cover  to  their 
intercourse."  1 

We  have  here  a  faithful  picture  of  the  religion  and  manners  of 
France  at  the  commencement  of  the  Reformation.  Morality  and 
doctrine  were  equally  poisoned,  and  a  powerful  revival  was  required 
for  both.  The  greater  the  value  men  attached  to  external  works, 
the  farther  they  were  removed  from  holiness  of  heart ;  dead  ordi 
nances  had  every  where  been  substituted  for  the  Christian  life,  and 
(strange,  yet  natural  union)  the  most  scandalous  profligacy  was 
seen  united  to  the  most  superstitious  devotion.  Theft  had  been 
perpetrated  before  the  altar,  seduction  at  the  confessional,  poison 
ing  in  the  mass,  adultery  at  the  foot  of  a  cross:  superstition,  by 
destroying  doctrine*,  had  destroyed  morality. 

Still,  there  were  numerous  exceptions  in  Christendom  during  the 
middle  ages.  A  faith,  even  though  superstitious,  may  be  sincere. 
Of  this,  William  Farel  is  an  instance.  The  same  zeal  that  at  a 
later  period  carried  him  to  so  many  places  to  spread  the  knowledge 
of  Jesus  Christ,  now  drew  him  to  every  place  where  the  church  ex 
hibited  some  miracle,  or  claimed  some  adoration.  Dauphiny 
had  its  seven  wonders,  which  had  long  worked  upon  the  imagina 
tion  of  its  inhabitants.2  But  there  were  also  in  the  natural  beauties 
with  which  it  is  surrounded  objects  that  might  well  raise  their  souls 
to  the  Creator. 

The  magnificent  chain  of  the  Alps,  those*summits  covered  with 
eternal  snow,  those  vast  rocks  which  sometimes  throw  up  their  sharp , 
peaks  into  the  air,  sometimes  extend  their  broken  ridges  beyond  the 
clouds,  where  they  seem  like  some  solitary  island  in  the  skies ;  all 
these  sublimities  of  creation  which  were  then  elevating  the  soul  of 
Ulric  Zuinglius,  in  the  Tockenburg,  were  also  speaking  powerfully 
to  the  heart  of  William  Farel  in  the  mountains  of  Dauphiny.  He 
was  thirsting  for  life,  light,  and  knowledge :  his  aspirations  were  for 
something  great  ....  he  asked  leave  to  study. 

This  was  a  great  blow  to  his  father,  who  thought  that  a  young 
noble  ought  to  know  only  his  rosary  and  his  sword.  At  this  time 
the  country  was  ringing  with  the  fame  of  a  young  countryman  of 
William  Farel,  from  Dauphiny  like  himself  named  Du  Terrail,  but 
better  known  by  the  name  of  Bayard,  who,  at  the  battle  of  Tar, 
on  the  other  side  of  the  Alps,  had  given  a  signal  display  of  courage. 
"  Such  sons,"  it  was  said,  "  are  like  arrows  in  the  hand  of  a  mighty 
man.  Happy  the  man  who  has  his  quiver  filled  with  them."  Farel's 
father,  accordingly,  opposed  his  son's  inclination  for  study.  But 

1  True  Use  of  the  Cross,  p.  235.    Some  of  the  words  are  softened. 

2  The  burning  spring,  the  pools  of  Sassenage,  the  manna  of  Briangon,  etc. 


the  young  man  was  inflexible.  God  designed  him  for  nobler  con 
tests  than  those  of  Bayard.  He  continually  returned  to  the  charge, 
and  at  last  the  old  gentleman  yielded.1 

Fare!  immediately  devoted  himself  to  his  task  with  astonishing 
ardour.  The  masters  whom  he  found  in  Dauphiny  were  of  little 
use  to  him,  and  he  had  to  straggle  against  the  bad  methods  and 
trifling  of  his  preceptors.2  These  difficulties  only  stimulated  him, 
and  he  had  soon  surmounted  them.  His  brothers  followed  his 
example.  Daniel  ultimately  became  a  politician,  and  was  employed 
in  some  important  negotiations  concerning  religion.3  Gautier 
gained  the  entire  confidence  of  the  Count  of  Furstemberg. 

Farel,  having  learned  all  that  could  be  learned  in  his  province, 
and  still  feeling  eager  for  knowledge,  turned  his  eyes  to  another 
quarter.  The  university  of  Paris  had  long  been  renowned  over  the 
Christian  world.  He  was  desirous  to  see  "  this  mother  of  all  the 
sciences,  this  true  light  of  the  Church,  which  never  suifers  an 
eclipse,  this  pure  and  polished  mirror  of  the  faith  which  no  cloud 
obscures,  and  no  touch  stains."  4  He  obtained  permission  from  his 
parents,  and  set  out  for  the  capital  of  France. 


Louis  XII,  and  the  Assembly  of  Tours — Francis  and  Margaret — The  Literati — 
Lefevre— His  teaching  at  the  University— Lefevre  and  Farel  meet— Doubts  and 
Inquiries  of  Farel— First  awakening— Prophecy  of  Lefevre— He  teaches  Justifica 
tion  by  Faith — Objections— Irregularities  in  Colleges — Effects  on  Farel — Election 
—Holiness  of  Life. 

One  day,  in  the  year  1510,  or  shortly  after,  the  young  stranger 
from  Dauphiny  arrived  in  Paris.  The  province  life  had  made  him 
an  ardent  follower  of  the  papacy — the  capital  was  to  make  him 
something  different.  The  Reformation  in  France  was  not  to  come 
forth  from  a  small  town,  as  it  did  in  Germany.  All  the  impetus 
which  agitate  the  population  proceed  from  the  metropolis.  At  the 
commencement  of  the  sixteenth  century  various  providential  cir 
cumstances  concurred  to  make  Paris  a  kind  of  focus  from  which  a 
spark  of  fire  might  easily  escape.  The  youth  from  the  neighbour 
hood  of  Gap,  who  now  arrived,  humble  and  unknown,  was  to 
receive  this  spark  into  his  heart.  Several  others  received  it  with 

1  Cum  a  parentibus  vix  impetrassem  ad  Htteras  concessum.  (Farel,  Natali  Galeoto, 
1527,  M.S.  Letters  of  the  Consistory  of  Neufehatel.)  2  A  praceptoribus  prsectpue  in 
Latina  lingua  ineptissimis  institutus.  (Farelli  Epist.)  1  had  the  silliest  teachers, 
especially  in  Latin.  3  Life  of  Farel,  M.S.,  at  Geneva.  *  Universitatem 

Parisiensem  matrem  omnium  scientiarum   ....   speculum  fidei  torsum  et  politurn 
....  (Priina  Apellat  Universit.  an.  1&)6,  Bukeus,  iv,  p.  806.) 

3  M 


Louis  XII,  the  father  of  his  people,  had  just  called  a  con 
vocation  of  the  French  clergy  at  Tours.  This  prince  seems  to 
have  anticipated  the  days  of  the  Reformation ;  so  much  so,  that, 
had  this  great  revolution  taken  place  during  his  reign,  all  France 
might  perhaps  have  been  Protestant.  The  assembly  of  Tours  had 
declared  that  the  king  was  entitled  to  make  war  on  the  pope,  and 
execute  the  decrees  of  the  Council  of  Basle,  These  decrees  were 
the  subject  of  general  conversation  in  the  colleges,  as  well  as  in  the 
city  and  at  court,  and  must  have  made  a  deep  impression  on  young 
Farel's  mind. 

Two  children  were  then  growing  up  at  the  court  of  France.  The 
one  was  a  young  prince  of  a  tall  and  striking  figure,  who  showed 
little  moderation  in  his  character,  and  recklessly  followed  any 
course  that  passion*  dictated.  Hence  the  king  was  wont  to  say, 
"  This  great  boy  will  spoil  all." l  This  was"  Francis  of  Angoul&ne, 
Duke  of  Valois,  and  cousin  to  the  king.  Boisy,  his  preceptor,  how 
ever,  taught  him  to  honour  literature. 

Beside  Francis  was  his  sister  Margaret,  two  years  older  than 
he,  "  a  princess,"  says  Brantome,  "  of  very  great  wit  and  ability, 
as  well  natural  as  acquired."2  Accordingly,  Louis  XII  had  spared 
nothing  on  her  education,  and  the  most  learned  men  in  the  king 
dom  hastened  to  acknowledge  her  as  their  patroness. 

In  fact,  a  body  of  distinguished  characters  already  surrounded 
Francis  and  Margaret  of  Valois.  William  Bude\  who,  at  twenty- 
three,  given  up  to  his  passions,  and  especially  to  the  chase,  living 
only  for  his  birds,  horses,  and  dogs,  had  all  at  once  stopped  short, 
sold  his  equipage,  and  begun  to  study  with  the  same  ardour 
which  had  led  him  amid  his  hounds  to  scour  the  fields  and  forests,3 
the  physician  Cop,  Francis  Vatable,  a  wonder  to  the  Jewish  mas 
ters  themselves  for  the  extent  of  his  knowledge  of  Hebrew,  James 
Tusan,  a  celebrated  Greek  scholar,  and  other  literati  besides,  encour 
aged  by  Stephen  Poncher,  Bishop  of  Paris,  by  Louis  Ruze,  civil 
lieutenant,  and  by  Francis  of  Luynes,  and  already  patronised  by  the 
two  young  Valois,  withstood  the  violent  attacks  of  the  Sorbonne, 
who  regarded  the  study  of  Greek  and  Hebrew  as  the  most  dreadful 
heresy.  At  Paris,  as  in  Germany  and  Switzerland,  the  re- estab 
lishment  of  sound  doctrine,  was  to  be  preceded  by  the  revival  of 
letters.  But  in  France,  the  hands  which  thus  prepared  the  materials, 
were  not  to  erect  the  edifice. 

Among  the  teachers  who  then  adorned  the  capital,  was  re 
marked  a  man  of  very  small  stature,  of  mean  appearance,  and 
humble  origin,4  whose  intellect,  learning,  and  powerful  eloquence 

l  Mezeray,  vol.  iv,  p.  127.  2  BrantSme  Dames  Illustres,  p.  331.  8  His  wife  and 
children  came  to  Geneva  in  1540,  after  his  death.  *  Homunculi  unius  neqxie 

pc  nere  insignis.    (Bezse  Icones.)    One  little  man  of  no  ftimily. 



had  an  indescribable  charm  over  his  hearers.  He  was  named 
Lefevre,  and  was  born  about  1455,  at  Etaples,  a  small  place  in 
Picardy.  He  had  received  only  a  rnde,  or  as  Theodore  Beza  calls 
it,  a  barbarous  education  ;  but  his  genius  had  supplied  the  place  of 
teachers,  and  his  piety,  learning,  and  nobleness  of  character  only 
shone  with  greater  lustre.  He  had  travelled  much.  It  would  even 
seem  that  the  desire  of  extending  his  knowledge  had  taken  him  to 
Asia  and  Africa.1  As  early  as  1493,  Lefevre,  who  had  taken  his 
degree  as  doctor  in  theology,  was  a  professor  at  the  university  of 
Paris.  He  forthwith  obtained  an  eminent, — in  the  opinion  of  Eras 
mus,2 — the  first  place. 

Lefevre  felt  that  he  had  a  task  to  perform.  Although  attached 
to  the  observances  of  Rome,  he  proposed  to  combat  the  barbarism 
which  prevailed  at  the  university,3  and  began  to  teach  the  branches 
of  philosophy  with  a  clearness  previously  unknown.  He  laboured 
to  revive  the  study  of  languages  and  of  classical  antiquity.  He 
went  still  farther.  He  became  aware  that,  when  a  work  of  revival 
is  in  question,  philosophy  and  literature  are  insufficient.  Therefore, 
leaving  scholastics,  which  alone  had  for  several  ages  occupied  the 
school,  he  returned  to  the  Bible,  and  brought  back  to  Christendom 
the  study  of  the  Holy  Scriptures  and  evangelical  knowledge.  He 
did  not  devote  himself  to  barren  researches :  he  went  to  the  core  of 
the  Bible.  His  eloquence,  frankness,  and  amiable  manners,  capti 
vated  all  hearts.  Grave,  and  full  of  unction  in  the  pulpit,  he  lived 
on  terms  of  gentle  familiarity  with  his  pupils.  Glarean,  one  of 
them,  writing  to  Zuinglius,  says,  "He  is  exceedingly  kind  to  me. 
Full  of  candour  and  goodness,  he  sings,  plays,  and  debates  with  me, 
and  often  laughs  at  the  folly  of  this  world."  4  Accordingly  a  great 
number  of  pupils  from  every  country  sat  at  his  feet. 

This  man,  with  all  his  learning,  submitted,  with  the  simplicity 
of  a  child,  to  all  the  ordinances  of  the  Church.  He  spent  as  much 
time  in  churches  as  in  his  study,  so  that  an  intimate  connection 
might  have  been  predicted  between  the  old  doctor  of  Picardy,  and 
the  young  scholar  of  Dauphiny.  When  two  natures,  so  much  alike, 
meet,  they  draw  to  each  other.  In  his  pious  pilgrimages  young 
Farel  soon  remarked  an  old  man,  and  was  struck  with  his  devout- 
ness.  He  prostrated  himself  before  the  images,  and,  remaining  long 
upon  his  knees,  prayed  with  fervour,  and  devoutly  repeated  his 
hours.  "  Never,"  says  Farel,  "  had  I  seen  any  singer  of  mass  who 

1  See  his  Commentary  on  the  Second  Epistle  to  the  Thessalonians,  where  there  is  a 
singular  account  of  Mecca  and  its  temple  from  a  traveller.  2  Fabro,  viro  quo 

vix  in  multis  millibus  reperias  vel  integviorem  vel  humaniorem.  (Er.  Ep.  p.  174.) 
Lefevre,  than  whom  you  will  scarcely  find  a  man  among- thousands  oi?  greater  integrity 
or  refinement  3  Barbariem  nobilissirroe  academiaj ....  incumbentem  detrudi. 

Bezce  Icones.)  *  Supra  modum  me  amat  totus  integer  et  candidus,  mecum 

cantillat,  ludit,  disputat,  ridet  mecum.     (Zw.  Ep.  p.  ?6.) 


sang  it  with  greater  reverence." 1  This  was  Lefevre.  William 
Farel  immediately  desired  to  approach  him,  and  was  overjoyed 
when  this  celebrated  man  kindly  accosted  him.  William  had  gained 
his  object  in  coming  to  the  capital.  From  this  time  his  greatest 
happiness  was  to  converse  with  the  doctor  of  Etaples,  to  hear  him 
and  his  admirable  lectures,  and  devoutly  prostrate  himself  with 
him  before  the  same  images.  Old  Lefevre  and  his  young  pupil 
were  often  seen  carefully  decking  an  image  of  the  Virgin  with 
flowers,  and  far  from  all  Paris,  far  from  pupils  and  teachers, 
muttering  together  by  themselves  the  fervent  prayers  which  they 
addressed  to  Mary.2 

The  attachment  of  Farel  for  Lefevre  being  observed  by  several, 
the  respect  which  was  felt  for  the  old  doctor  was  reflected  on  his 
young  disciple.  Tkis  illustrious  friendship  brought  the  stranger 
of  Dauphiuy  out  of  obscurity.  He  soon  gained  a  name  for  zeal, 
and  several  rich  and  devout  persons  in  Paris  entrusted  him  with 
different  sums  for  the  maintenance  of  poor  students.3 

Some  time  elapsed  before  Lefevre  and  his  pupil  came  to  a  clear 
view  of  the  truth.  It  was  .not  the  hope  of  a  rich  benefice,  nor  a 
longing  for  a  life  of  dissoluteness  that  attached  Farel  to  the  pope  • 
these  vulgarities  were  not  made  for  such  a  soul.  To  him  the  pop 
was  the  visible  head  of  the  Church — a  sort  of  god  by  whose  com 
mands  souls  were  saved.  If  he  heard  a  word  uttered  against  his 
venerated  pontiff,  he  gnashed  his  teeth  like  a  raging  wolf,  and  could 
have  wished  the  thunder  to  strike  the  guilty  individual,  and  thereby 
"  completely  sink  and  ruin  him." — "I  believe,"  said  he,  "in  the 
cross,  in  pilgrimages,  in  images,  vows,  and  bones.  What  the  priest 
holds  in  his  hands,  puts  in  the  box,  encloses,  eats,  and  gives  to  be 
eaten,  is  my  only  true  God.  I  have  no  other,  either  in  heaven  or 
on  the  earth."4 — "Satan,"  said  he,  on  another  occasion,  "had 
lodged  the  pope,  the  papacy,  and  all  that  belongs  to  it,  in  my  heart, 
so  that  even  the  pope  had  not  so  much  of  it  in  himself." 

Thus,  the  more  Farel  seemed  to  seek  God,  the  more  his  piety 
languished,  and  the  more  superstition  increased  in  his  soul ;  every 
thing  went  from  bad  to  worse.  He  has  himself  described  his  state 
with  great  energy.5  "  Oh  how  I  am  horrified  at  myself,  and  my 
faults,  when  I  think  how  great  and  wonderful  the  work  of  God  in 
making  it  possible  for  man  to  be  delivered  from  such  an  abyss." 

But  though  he  was  delivered,  it  was  only  by  degrees.  At  first  he 
had  read  profane  authors,  but  his  piety,  finding  no  nurture  in  them, 

1  Epistle  of  Farel  to  all  lords,  people,  and  pastors.  2  Floribus  jubebat 

Marianum  idolum,  dum  mia  soli  mimnuraremus'preces  Marianas  ad  idolum,  ornari. 
(Farellus  Pellicano,  an.  155G.)  3  Manuscript  at  Geneva.  *  Farel,  to  all 

lords,  etc.  5  (juo  ulus  pergere  et  promovere  adnitebar,  eo  amplius  retrocedebain. 

/Tar.  Galeoto,  M.S.  Letters  of  Neufchatel.) 


he  began  to  meditate  on  the  lives  of  the  saints ;  foolish  as  he 
was,  these  lives  made  him  become  still  more  foolish.1  He  then 
attached  himself  to  several  teachers  of  the  day,  but,  after  coming 
to  them  unhappy,  he  left  them  miserable.  He  at  length  began  to 
study  the  ancient  philosophers,  and  expected  Aristotle  would  teach 
him  how  to  be  a  Christian :  his  hopes  were  still  disappointed.  Bookie 
images,  relics,  Aristotle,  Mary,  and  the  saints,  all  were  useless.  This 
ardent  soul  passed  from  one  human  wisdom  to  another  human  wis 
dom,  without  ever  finding  wherewith  to  appease  the  hunger  which 
was  wasting  him. 

Meanwhile,  the  pope  allowing  the  writings  of  the  Old  and  New 
Testament  to  be  called  the  Holy  Bible,  Farel  began  to  read  them,  as 
Luther  once  did  in  the  cloister  of  Erfurth,  and  he  stood  quite  aghast,2 
on  seeing  that  every  thing  on  the  earth  was  different  from  what  the 
Holy  Scriptures  enjoin.  Perhaps  he  was  on  the  eve  of  arriving  at 
the  truth,  but  suddenly  double  darkness  fell  upon  him,  and  he  was 
plunged  into  a  new  abyss.  "  Satan  suddenly  arrived,"  says  he, 
u  in  order  that  he  might  not  lose  his  possession,  and  dealt  with  me 
according  to  his  custom."  3  A  fierce  struggle  between  the  word  of 
God  and  the  word  of  the  Church  then  arose  in  his  heart.  When 
he  met  with  any  passages  of  Scripture  opposed  to  the  usages  of 
Home,  he  held  down  his  eyes,  blushed,  and  durst  scarcely  believe 
what  he  read.4  "Ah,"  said  he,  fearing  to  fix  his  eyes  on  the  Bible, 
UI  don't  well  understand  such  things.  I  must  give  these  Scripture 
another  meaning  than  they  seem  to  have :  I  must  keep  to  the  inter 
pretation  of  the  Church  and  the  view  of  the  pope ! " 

One  day  when  he  was  reading  the  Bible,  a  doctor  having  entered, 
rebuked  him  sharply.  "No  man,"  said  he,  "should  read  theHolv 
Scriptures  till  he  has  learned  philosophy,  and  finished  his  course  of 
arts."  This  was  a  preparation  which  the  apostles  had  not  de 
manded  ;  but  Farel  believed  it  was.  "  I  was,"  says  he,  "  the 
unhappiest  of  men,  shutting  my  eyes  that  I  might  not  see."  5 

Thenceforth  there  was  in  the  young  Dauphinist  a  revival  of 
Romish  fervour.  The  legends  of  the  saints  excited  his  imagina 
tion.  The  more  severe  the  monastic  rules  were,  the  greater  his 
inclination  for  them.  Carthusians  dwelt  in  gloomy  cells  in  the  midst 
of  woods.  He  visited  them  with  respect,  and  took  part  in  their 
abstinences.  "I  employed  myself  entirely  night  and  day,"  saye 
he,  "  in  serving  the  devil,  according  to  the  man  of  sin — the  pope. 
I  had  my  Pantheon  in  my  heart,  and  so  many  intercessors,  so 
many  saviours,  so  many  gods,  that  I  might  well  have  been  taken 
for  a  popish  register." 

1  Quae  de  sanctis  conscripta  offendebam,  verum  ex  stulto  insanum  faciebant.  (Far. 
Saleoto,  M.S.  Letters  n\  Neutcliatel.)  2  Farei  to  all  lords,  etc.  3  Ibid. 

'*  Oculos  demittens,  visis  non  credebam.  (Farel  Galeoto.)  5  Oculos  a  !u  e 



The  darkness  could  not  become  greater,  the  star  of  the  morning 
was  soon  to  rise,  and  it  was  at  Lefevre's  word  that  it  was  to  ap 
pear.  In  the  doctor  of  Etaples  there  were  already  some  rays 
of  light :  a  feeling  within  told  him  that  the  Church  could  not 
remain  in  the  state  in  which  it  then  was ;  and  often,  at  the  very 
moment  when  he  was  returning  from  mass,  or  rising  up  from  be 
fore  some  image,  the  old  man  turned  to  his  young  pupil,  and,  grasp 
ing  his  hand,  said  to  him  with  a  grave  tone,  "My  dear  William, 
God  will  renovate  the  world,  as  you  shall  see."  l  Farel  did  not  per 
fectly  understand  these  words.  Lefevre,  however,  did  not  confine 
himself  to  mysterious  expressions.  A  great  change  which  then 
took  place  in  himself,  was  to  produce  a  similar  change  in  his  pupil. 

The  old  doctor  was  engaged  in  a  work  of  vast  labour.  He  was 
carefully  collecting  the  legends  of  the  saints  and  martyrs,  and  ar 
ranging  them  according  to  the  order  of  their  names  in  the  Kalen- 
dar.  Two  months  were  already  printed,  Avhen  one  of  those  rays 
which  come  from  above  beamed  upon  his  soul.  He  could  not 
withstand  the  disgust  which  childish  superstitions  begot  in  a  Chris 
tian  heart.  The  grandeur  of  the  word  of  God  made  him  sensible 
of  the  wretchedness  of  these  fables.  They  now  appeared  to  him 
nothing  better  than  "  sulphur  to  kindle  the  fire  of  idolatry."  He 
abandoned  his  task,  and  throwing  away  the  legends,  turned  with 
affection  to  the  second  volume.  The  moment  when  Lefevre,  quit- 
ing  the  marvellous  tales  of  the  saints,  laid  his  hand  upon  the  word 
of  God,  is  the  commencement  of  a  new  era  in  France,  and  the  be 
ginning  of  its  Eefonnation. 

In  fact,  Lefevre  on  returning  from  the  fables  of  the  Breviary  be 
gan  to  study  the  Epistles  of  St.  Paul.  The  light  grew  rapidly  in 
his  heart,  and  he  immediately  put  his  pupils  in  possession  of  that 
knowledge  of  the  truth,  which  we  find  in  his  Commentaries.3 
Strange  to  the  school  and  to  the  age  were  those  doctrines  which 
were  then  heard  in  Paris,  and  which  the  press  diffused  over  the 
Christian  world.  We  easily  conceive  that  the  young  scholars  who 
listened  to  them  were  struck,  moved,  changed,  and  that  thus,  even 
before  the  year  1512,  the  dawn  of  a  new  day  was  prepared  for 

The  doctrine  of  justification  by  faith,  which  at  one  blow  over 
threw  the  subtilties  of  the  schoolmen,  and  the  observances  of  the 

1  Farel  to  all  lords,  etc.  See,  also  the  letter  to  Pellican.  Ante  annos  plus  minus  qua. 
dmginta,  me  manu  apprehensum  ita  alloquebatur : — "Guillelme,  oportet  orbem  ini- 
rnutari  et  tu  vidt-bis!"  About  forty  years  ago,  less  or  more,  haying  taken  me  by  the 
hand  he  thus  addressed  me,  "  William,  the  world  must  be  changed,  and  you  shall  Be 
it  2  Farel  to  all  lords,  etc.  3  The  first  edition  of  his  Commentaries 
on  the  Epistles  of  St.  Paul,  is  dated,  I  believe  in  15J2.  There  is  a  copy  in  the  Royal 
Library  at  Paris.  I  quote  from  the  second  edition.  The  learned  Simon  says,  (Obser 
vations  on  the  New  Testament,)  that  "James  Lefevre  must  be  placed  among  the  ablest 
commentators  of  his  :ige."  We  would  go  still  farther. 



papacy,  was  openly  announced  in  the  bosom  of  the  Sorbonne.  "  It 
is  God  alone,"  said  the  doctor,  and  the  halls  of  the  University 
must  have  been  astonished  when  they  re-echoed  these  strange  words, 
"  It  is  God  alone,  who  by  his  grace  through  faith  justifies  unto 
eternal  life.1  There  is  a  righteousness  of  works,  and  there  is  u 
righteousness  of  grace ;  the  one  comes  from  man,  the  other  from 
God ;  the  one  is  earthly  and  transient,  the  other  is  divine  and  eter 
nal  ;  the  one  is  the  shadow  and  the  sign,  the  other  is  the  light  and 
the  truth;  the  one  gives  the  knowledge  of  sin  in  order  that  we 
may  flee  from  death,  the  other  gives  knowledge  of  grace  that  we 
may  obtain  life."2 

"  What  then,"  it  was  asked,  on  hearing  doctrines  which  contra 
dicted  those  of  four  previous  centuries,  "  was  there  ever  a  single 
man  justified  without  works?" — *' A  single  man,"  replied  Lefevre, 
"innumerable  men.  How  many  among  people  of  bad  lives  have 
ardently  desired  the  grace  of  baptism,  having  only  faith  in  Chrisi, 
and  have  if  they  died  immediately  after,  entered  the  mansions  of 
the  blessed  without  works!" — "But  some  will  say,  if  we  are  not 
justified  by  works,  it  is  in  vain  for  us  to  do  them."  The  doctor  of 
Paris  replied,  and  perhaps  the  other  Reformers  would  not  have  en 
tirely  approved  of  the  reply;  "Certainly  not  it  is  not  in  vain.  If  I 
hold  a  mirror  turned  toward  the  sun,  it  receives  the  sun's  image. 
The  more  it  is  polished  and  cleaned,  the  more  brilliant  the  image  is, 
but  if  it  is  soiled  the  brilliancy  is  lost.  It  is  the  same  with  justifi 
cation  in  those  who  lead  an  impure  life."  Lefevre  in  this  passage, 
as  St.  Augustine  in  several,  perhaps  does  not  distinguish  sufficient 
ly  between  justification  and  sanctification.  The  doctor  of  Etaples 
reminds  us  somewhat  of  the  bishop  of  Hippo.  Those  who  lead 
an  impure  life,  have  never  had  justification,  and  consequently  they 
cannot  lose  it.  But  peril aps  Lefevre  meant,  that  when  the  Chris 
tian  falls  into  some  fault,  he  loses  the  impression  of  his  salvation, 
not  salvation  itself.  In  that  case  there  is  nothing  to  object  to  his 

Thus  a  new  life  and  a  new  doctrine  had  penetrated  the  university 
of  Paris.  The  doctrine  of  faith,  which,  a  Pothinus  and  an  Irenseus 
preached  of  old  in  Gaul  again  resounded.  Thenceforth  there  were 
two  parties  and  two  classes  of  people  in  this  great  school  of  Chris 
tendom.  The  lessons  of  Lefevre,  the  zeal  of  his  scholars  formed  a 
very  striking  contrast  with  the  scholastic  lectures  of  the  greater 
part  of  the  teachers,  and  the  fickle  giddy  lives  of  the  greater  part  of 
the  students.  In  colleges,  to  learn  to  play  parts  in  comedy,  to  deck 

1  Solus  enim  Deus  cstqui  hanc  justitiam  per  fid  cm  tradii,  qui  sola  gratia  ad  viiam 
nistifioat  JBternam,  (Fabri  Comm.  in  Epp.  Puuli,  p.  70.)  2  Ilia  umbra tiliu 

vestigium  atque  sign  urn,  hocc  lux  et  vcritas  est.    (Ibid.) 


in  putting  on  grotesque  dresses,  and  acting  farces  in  the  streets, 
than  in  studying  to  become  acquainted  with  the  oracles  of  God. 
These  farces  often  attacked  the  honour  of  grandees,  princes,  and 
the  king  himself.  The  parliament  interposed  about  the  time  of 
which  we  speak,  calling  the  principals  of  several  colleges  before 
it,  and  forbidding  these  indulgent  masters  to  allow  such  comedies 
to  be  performed  in  their  houses.1 

But  these  disorders  were  suddenly  corrected  by  a  more  power 
ful  dissuasive  than  the  decrees  of  Parliament.  Jesus  Christ  was 
taught.  Rumour  was  loud  on  the  benches  of  the  university,  and 
the  students  began  to  occupy  themselves  almost  as  much  with 
evangelical  doctrines,  as  with  the  subtleties  of  the  school,  or  with 
comedies.  Several  of  those  whose  lives  were  not  the  most  irre 
proachable,  stood  out  for  icorks,  and  perceiving  that  the  doctrine 
of  faith  condemned  their  conduct,  maintained  that  St.  James  was 
opposed  to  St.  Paul.  Lefevre  determined  to  defend  the  •  treasure 
which  he  had  discovered,  and  demonstrated  the  agreement  of  the 
two  apostles.  u  Does  not  St.  James  say  (chap,  i,)  that  every  good 
and  perfect  gift  cometh  from  above  ?  Now  who  denies  that  justi- 
cation  is  the  perfect  gift,  the  crowning  grace  ?  .  .  .  When  we  sec 
an  individual  breathe,  we  regard  it  as  a  sign  of  life.  Thus  works 
are  necessary  but  only  as  signs  of  a  living  faith,  which  justification 
accompanies.2  Do  CoSlyi-iiums  or  purifications  give  light  to  the 
eye?  No  ;  it  is  the  power  of  the  sun.  Very  well ;  these  purifica 
tions  and  these  collyriiums  are  our  works.  The  only  ray  which  the 
sun  darts  from  above  is  justification  itself."  3 

At  these  lectures,  Farel  was  an  eager  listener.  This  doctrine  of 
salvation  by  grace  had  soon  an  indescribable  charm  for  him.  Every 
objection  gave  way,  all  struggle  ceased.  No  sooner  had  Lefevre 
broached  the  doctrine,  than  Farel  embraced  it  with  his  whole  soul. 
He  had  had  enough  of  toils  and  wrestlings  to  know  that  he  could  not 
save  himself.  Accordingly,  as  soon  as  he  saw  in  the  word,  that 
God  saves  gratuitously,  he  believed.  " Lefevre,"  says  he,  " drew  me 
off  from  my  false  idea  of  merit,  and  taught  me  that  every  thing 
comes  by  grace :  this  I  believed  as  soon  as  it  was  told  me. "  4 
Thus  by  a  sudden  and  decisive  conversion  like  that  of  St.  Paul,  was 
brought  to  thq  faith,  this  Farel  who  as  Theodore  Beza  expresses 
it,  not  being  deterred  by  threatenings,  or  insults,  or  blows,  won  for 
Jesus  Christ,  Montbelliard,  Neufchatel,  Lausanne,  Aigle,  and 
lastly  Geneva.  5 

1  Crevier  History  of  the  University,  V,  p.  95.  3  Opera  signa  vivas  fidei,  qnam 

justificatio  sequitur.  (Fabri  Comm.  in  Epp.  Pauli,  p.  73.)  3  Sed  radius 

desuper  a  sole  vibratus,  justificatio  est  flbid.  p.  73.)  *  Farel  to  all  lords. 

5  Nullis  difficultatibus  fractus,  nullis  minis,  convitis,  verberibus  denique  intiictis 
territus.  (Bezae  Icones.) 



Meanwhile,  Lefevre  continuing  his  lectures  and  taking  pleasure 
like  Luther,  in  employing  contrasts,  and  paradoxes,  which  cover 
great  truths,  extolled  the  grandeur  of  the  mystery  of  redemption. 
;'  Ineffable  exchange,  exclaimed  he,  innocence  is  condemned  and  the 
guilty  is  acquitted;  blessing  is  cursed,  and  he  who  was  cursed  is 
blest;  life  dies  and  death  receives  life ;  glory  is  covered  with  confu 
sion,  and  he  who  was  confounded  is  covered  with  ""glory."  l  The 
pious  doctor  penetrating  still  farther,  perceived  that  all  salvation 
emanates  from  the  love  of  God.  "  Those  who  are  saved,"  said 
he,  "  are  so  by  election,  by  grace,  by  the  will  of  God,  and  not  by 
their  own  will.  Our  election,  our  will,  our  works,  are  without 
efficacy  ;  the  election  of  God  alone  is  most  powerful.  When  we 
are  converted,  our  conversion  does  not  make  us  the  elect  of  God. 
but  the  grace,  the  will,  the  election  of  God  convert  us."  2 

But  Lefevre  did  not  stop  at  doctrines.  While  he  rendered 
glory  to  God,  he  demanded  obedience  from  man,  and  urged  the 
obligations  flowing  from  the  high  privileges  of  the  Christian. 
"Ifthou  art  of  the  Church  of  Christ,  thou  art  of  the  body  of 
Christ,  thou  art  filled  with  the  divinity ;  for  the  fulness  of  the 
Godhead  dwells  in  him  bodily."  Oh !  if  mon  could  comprehend 
this  privilege,  how  carefully  they  would  maintain  purity,  chastity, 
and  holiness,  and  account  all  the  glory  of  the  world  disgrace  in 
comparison  of  the  inward  glory  which  is  hidden  from  the  eye  of 

Lefevre  felt  that  the  teacher  of  the  Word  holds  a  high  office, 
and  he  exercised  it  with  unshaken  fidelity.  The  corruption  of  the 
period,  and  particularly  that  of  the  clergy,  excited  his  indignation, 
and  was  made  the  subject  of  severe  lectures.  "  What  a  shame," 
said  he,  "  to  see  a  bishop  entreating  people  to  drink  with  him, 
making  gaming  his  only  study,  handling  the  dice  and  cornet,  tak 
ing  up  his  time  with  birds  and  dogs,  constantly  hunting  and 
shouting  after  beagles  and  hares,  entering  houses  of  debauchery.4 
.  .  .  .  O,  men,  more  deserving  of  punishment  than  Sardanapalus 
himself !" 

1  0  ineffabile  commercium !  .  .  .  (Fabri  Comm.  145  verso.)  O  ineffable  inter- 
course.  2  Inefficax  est  ad  hoc  ipsum  nostra  vuluntas,  nostra  electio ;  Dei  auten. 

electio  efficacissima  et  potentissima,  etc.     (Fabri  Com.  p.  89,  verso.)  3  Si  de  cor- 

pore  Christi,  divinitate  repletus  es.     (Ibid.,  p.  176,  \erso.)  *  Et  virgunculas 

gremio  tenentem,  cum  suaviis  sermones  miscentevr       'li*icLp.  208.)  -.,  ,, 



Farel  and  the  Saint-;— The  University— Conversion  of  Farel— Farel  and  Luther— 
Other  Disciples— Date  of  the  Reformation  in  France — The  different  Reformation 
spontaneous — Which  is  the  first  ? — Place  due  to  Lefevre. 

Thus  spake  Lefevre.  Farel  listened,  thrilled  with  delight,  re 
ceived  all,  and  threw  himself  into  the  new  path  suddenly  opened 
before  him.  There  was,  however,  a  point  of  his  old  creed  which,  as 
yet,  he  was  unable  to  yield ;  this  was  the  Saints  and  the  Invocation 
of  them.  The  best  intellects  often  have  these  remains  of  darkness, 
and  retain  them  after  their  illumination.  Farel  listened  with  aston 
ishment,  when  the  illustrious  doctor  declared  that  Christ  alone  was 
to  be  invoked.  "  Religion,"  said  Lefevre,  "has  only  one  foundation, 
one  aim,  one  head,  Jesus  Christ,  who  is  blessed  forever.  He  alone 
trode  the  wine-press ;  and  therefore  we  do  not  take  our  name  from 
St.  Paul,  Apollos,  or  St.  Peter.  The  cross  of  Christ  alone  opens 
heaven,  and  alone  shuts  the  gate  of  hell."  On  hearing  these 
words,  there  was  a  great  struggle  in  FareFs  soul.  On  the  one 
hand  he  saw  the  multitude  of  the  saints  with  the  Clmrch ;  on  the 
other,  Jesus  Christ  alone  was  his  Master.  Sometimes  he  leant  to 
the  one  side,  and  sometimes  to  the  other.  It  was  his  last  error 
and  his  last  combat;  he  hesitated,  he  still  felt  attached  to  the 
venerated  men,  at  whose  feet  Home  falls  prostrate.  At  length  the 
decisive  blow  was  given  from  on  high.  The  scales  fell  from  his 
eyes.  Jesus  alone  appeared  worthy  of  adoration.  "Then, "says 
he,  u  the  papacy  was  entirely  overthrown :  I  began  to  detest  it  as- 
diabolical,  and  the  holy  word  of  God  had  the  first  place  in  my 
heart."  * 

Public  events  hastened  the  progress  of  Farel  and  his  friends. 
Thomas  De  Vio,  who,  at  a  later  period,  had  a  wrestle  with  Lutlicr 
at  Augsburg,  having  in  one  of  his  works  advanced  that  the  pope 
was  absolute  monarch  of  the  Church,  Louis  XII  laid  the  work  before 
the  university,  in  the  month  of  February,  1512.  James  Allman,  one 
of  the  youngest  doctors,  a  man  of  profound  genius  and  an  indefa 
tigable  student,  in  a  full  assembly  of  the  faculty  of  theology,  and 
amid  great  applause,  read  a  refutation  of  the  assertions  of  the 

What  impression  must  not  such  addresses  have  produced  on 
Lefevre's  young  scholars!  Could  they  hesitate,  when  the  uni 
versity  seemed  impatient  of  the  papal  •  yoke  ?  If  the  main  body 
began  to  move,  must  not  they  hasten  on  in  front  as  pioneers  ? 

1  Farel.    To  all  lords,  etc.  2  Crevier  Hist,  of  the  Un.  v,  p.  81. 


"It  was  necessary,"  says  Farel,  "  that  the  papacy  should  fall  in 
my  heart  by  little  and  little ;  for  it  (lid  not  come  down  at  the  first 
stroke."1  He  contemplated  the  abyss  of  superstition  into  which  he 
had  been  plunged.  Arrested  on  its  banks,  he  once  more,  with 
uneasiness,  surveyed  all  its  depths,  and  recoiled  with  a  feeling  of 
terror.  "  Oh,  how  much  I  am  horrified  at  myself  and  my  faults!  " 
he  exclaimed.2  "O  Lord,"  continued  he,  "if  my  soul  had 
served  thee  with  a  living  faith  as  thy  faithful  servants  have  done ; 
if  it  had  prayed  and  honoured  thee  as  much  as  my  heart  did  the 
mass,  and  served  this  magic  morsel,  giving  it  all  honour  !  "  Thus 
the  youth  of  Dauphiny  deplored  his  past  life,  and  repeated,  with 
tears,  like  St.  Augustine  of  old,  "  Too  late  have  I  known,  too  late 
have  I  loved  thee." 

Farel  had  found  Jesus  Christ,  and  having  arrived  in  port,  was 
happy  to  rest,  after  long  tempests.3  "  Now,"  said  he,  "  every 
thing  presents  itself  in  a  new  light.4  The  Scriptures  are  made 
clear,  the  Prophets  are  opened,  the  Apostles  shed  great  light  upon 
my  soul.5  A  voice,  hitherto  unknown,  the  voice  of  Christ  my 
Shepherd,  my  Master,  my  Teacher,  speaks  to  me  with  power." 6  He 
was  so  changed,  that  instead  of  the  murderous  heart  of  a  ravening 
wolf,  he  returned,  he  said,  calmly  as  a  meek  and  lovely  lamb,  with 
a  heart  entirely  withdrawn  from  the  pope,  and  devoted  to  Jesus 

Escaped  from  this  great  evil,  he  turned  towards  the  Bible,8  and 
began  the  diligent  study  of  Greek  and  Hebrew.9  He  constantly 
read  the  Holy  Scriptures,  and  always  with  deeper  affection,  God 
enlightening  him  from  day  to  day.  He  still  continued  to  attend 
the  old  worship  in  the  churches.  Hut  what  did  he  find  in  it  ?  In 
numerable  cries  and  chants,  and  words  pronounced  without  mean 
ing.10  Accordingly,  often  in  the  midst  of  the  multitude,  who  were 
thronging  towards  an  image  or  an  altar,  he  exclaimed,  u  Thou 
alone  art  God:  thou  alone  art  wise:  thou  alone  art  good.11 
Nothing  is  to  be  taken  from  thy  holy  law,  nothing  added  to  it ; 
for  thou  art  the  Lord  alone,  who  wiliest  and  oughtest  to  com 

Thus,  in  his  eyes,  all  men  and  all  teachers  fell  from  the  heights 
on  which  his  imagination  had  placed  them ;  he  no  longer  saw  any 
thing  in  the  world  but  God  and  his  word.  The  persecutions  which 
the  other  teachers  of  Paris  employed  against  Lefevre,  lost  them 

'Farel.  To  all  lords,  etc.  2  (Ibid.)  3  Animus  per  varia  jactatus,  verum 

nactus  portum,  soli  lunsit.  (Farel  Galeoto.)  *  Jam  rerun*  nuva  fades.  (Ibid.) 

5  Notior  scriptura,  apertiores  prophets,  lucidiores,  apostoli.  (Ibid.)  6  Agnita 

pa storis, magistri  et  prteceptoris  Christ!  vox.  (Ibid.)  7  Farel.  To  all  lords, etc 

8  Lego  sacra  ut  causam  iuveniam.  (Farel  Galeoto.)  °  Life  of  Farel.  MS.  ol 

Geneva  and  Choupard.  10  Clamores  multi,  cantiones  inuumera?.  (Farel  Ga- 

luot').)  J '  Vcre  tu  solus  Deus !  (Ibid.) 


his  good  opinion.  But  shortly  Lefevre  himself,  his  beloved  guide, 
was  nothing  to  him  but  a  man.  He  always  loved  and  revered 
him,  but  God  only  became  his  master. 

Of  all  the  Reformers,  Farel  and  Luther,  perhaps,  are  those  whose 
spiritual  developments  we  know  best,  and  who  had  to  endure  the 
greatest  conflicts.  Keen  and  ardent,  men  of  attack  and  battle, 
they  had  to  maintain  violent  struggles  before  they  obtained  peace. 
Farel  is  the  pioneer  of  the  Reformation  in  Switzerland ;  he  throws 
himself  into  the  thicket;  he  takes  his  axe  and  hews  down  the  se 
cular  forests.  Calvin  comes  at  a  later  period,  as  does  Melancthon, 
from  whom,  no  doubt,  he  differs  in  regard  to  disposition,  but  with 
whom  he  shares  the  character  of  theologian  and  organiser.  These 
two  men,  the  one  in  the  graceful,  the  other  in  the  stem  class  of 
character,  somewhat  resemble  the  lawgivers  of  antiquity.  They 
build  up,  constitute,  and  make  laws  in  the  countries  which  the  two 
previous  Reformers  had  gained.  Still,  if  Luther  and  Farel  have 
some  features  in  common,  it  must  be  acknowledged  that  the  latter 
is  only  an  inferior  resemblance.  Besides  his  superior  genius, 
Luther  had,  in  every  thing  which  concerned  the  Church,  a  modera 
tion,  a  wisdom,  a  knowledge  of  the  past,  a  comprehensiveness  of 
view,  and  even  an  organising  power,  which  exist  not  to  the  same 
degree  in  the  Reformer  of  Dauphiny. 

Farel  was  not  the  only  young  Frenchman  in  whom  new  light 
then  arose.  The  doctrines,  which  proceeded  from  the  mouth  of 
the  illustrious  doctor  of  Etaples,  were  working  in  the  minds  of  the 
multitude  who  followed  his  lessons.  In  his  school  were  formed 
brave  soldiers,  who  on  the  day  of  battle  were  to  fight  on  to  the 
very  foot  of  the  scaffold.  They  listened,  compared,  and  discuss 
ed,  arguing  keenly  on  both  sides.  It  is  not  improbable,  that 
among  the  small  number  of  scholars  who  defended  the  truth,  was 
young  Peter  Robert  Olivetan,  born  at  Noyon,  towards  the  end  of  the 
fifteenth  century,  who,  at  a  later  period,  translated  the  Bible  into 
French,  after  the  translation  of  Lefevre ;  and  appears  to  have  been 
the  first  to  bring  the  doctrines  of  the  gospel  under  the  notice  of  a 
young  kinsman,  also  a  native  of  Noyon,  and  afterwards  the  most 
distinguished  leader  of  the  Reformation.1 

Thus,  before  1512,  at  a  time  when  Luther  had  not  yet  acquired 
any  distinction  in  the  world,  and  was  setting  out  to  Rome  on  a 
concern  of  monks,  at  a  period  when  Zuinglius  had  not  even  begun 
to  devote  himself  zealously  to  sacred  literature,  and  was  crossing 
the  Alps  with  the  confederates  to  fight  for  the  pope,  Paris  and 
France  heard  the  delivery  of  those  vital  truths,  out  of  which  the 
Reformation  was  to  spring,  and  minds  fitted  to  propagate  them 

J  Biog.  UnL,  Art  Olivetan.     Hist  du  Calvinisme,  par  Maimbourg,  p.  53. 


were  receiving  them  with  holy  avidity.  Hence,  Theodore  Beza, 
speaking  of  Lefevre  of  Etaples,  hails  him  as  the  individual,  "  who 
courageously  began  the  revival  of  the  pure  religion  of  Jesus 
Christ;"  1  and  he  remarks  that,  uin  the  same  way  as  the  school 
of  Isocrates  was  anciently  seen  to  furnish  the  best  orators,  so, 
from  the  audience  of  the  doctor  of  Etaples,  proceeded  several  of 
the  most  distinguished  men  of  their  age  and  of  the  "Church."  2 

The  Reformation  in  France,  therefore,  was  not  a  foreign  impor 
tation.  It  had  its  birth  on  the  French  soil;  it  germinated  in 
Paris  :  it  had  its  first  roots  in  the  university  itself,  which  formed 
the  second  power  in  Roman  Christendom.  God  placed  the  princi 
ples  of  the  work  in  the  honest  hearts  of  men  of  Picardy  and  Dauph- 
iny,  before  its  commencement  in  any  other  country.  We  have 
seen  that  the  Swiss  Reformation  was  independent  of  the  German 
Reformation.  The  French  Reformation  was,  in  its  turn,  indepen 
dent  of  both.  The  work  began  at  once  in  these  different  countries 
without  any  communication  with  each  other;  as  in  a  battle,  all  the 
different  forces  composing  the  army  move  at  the  same  instant, 
though  the  one  does  not  tell  the  other  to  march,  because  one  ami 
the  same  command,  proceeding  from  the  commander-in-chief, 
is  heard  by  all.  The  time  was  accomplished,  the  people  were 
prepared,  and  God  began  the  renovation  of  his  Church  in  all  quar 
ters  at  once.  Such  facts  demonstrate  that  the  great  revolution  of 
the  sixteenth  century  was  a  Divine  work. 

If  regard  is  had  only  to  dates,  it  must  be  acknowledged  that 
the  honour  of  commencing  the  work  belongs  neither  to  Switzerland 
nor  to  Germany,  although  these  two  countries  only  have  hitherto 
claimed  it.  The  honour  truly  belongs  to  France.  This  is  a  fact 
which  we  purpose  to  establish,  because  it  seems  to  haye  been  hi 
therto  overlooked.  Without  dwelling  on  the  influence  which  Le 
fevre  exerted,  directly  or  indirectly,  over  several  individuals,  and 
in  particular,  perhaps  over  Calvin  himself,  let  us  attend  to  that 
which  he  had  over  one  of  his  pupils,  over  Farel,  and  to  the  energe 
tic  activity  which  this  servant  of  God  thenceforth  displayed.  After 
this,  how  can  we  resist  the  conviction,  that  even  though  Zuing- 
lius  and  Luther  should  never  have  appeared,  there  would  have 
been  a  movement  of  Reform  in  France  ?  It  is  impossible,  no 
doubt,  to  calculate  what  would  have  been  its  extent ;  it  must  even 
be  acknowleged  that  the  rumour  of  what  was  going  on  beyond  the 
Rhine  and  the  Jura,  animated,  and  at  a  later  period  quickened,  the 
pace  of  the  French  Reformers.  Still,  they  were  the  first  whom  the 
blast  of  the  heavenly  trumpet  in  the  sixteenth  century  awoke,  and 

1  Et  purioris  religionis  instaurationem  fortiter  agressus.     (Bezse  Icones.) 

2  Sic  ex  Stapulensis  auditorio  praestantissiini  viri  plurinii  prodierint.    (Ibid.) 


they  were  the  first  who  appeared  equipped  and  arrayed  on  the 
field  of  battle. 

Nevertheless,  Luther  is  the  great  workman  of  the  sixteenth  cen 
tury,  and,  in  the  most  extensive  sense,  the  first  Reformer.  Lefevre 
is  not  a  complete  Reformer,  like  Calvin,  Farel,  and  Luther.  He  is  of 
Wittemberg  and  Geneva,  but  has  also  a  tinge  of  the  Sorbonne :  he 
is  the  first  Catholic  in  the  Reform  movement,  and  the  last  of  the 
reformed  in  the  Catholic  movement.  He  remains  to  the  last  a 
kind  of  go-between — a  somewhat  mysterious  mediator,  designed 
to  remind  us,  that  though  there  is  apparently  an  impassable 
abyss  between  the  old  and  the  new  things,  there  is  still  a  connec 
tion  between  them.  Repulsed  and  persecuted  by  Rome,  lie  is 
still  attached  to  Rome  by  a  feeble  thread,  which  he  is  unwilling  to 
break.  Lefevre  of  Staples  has  a  place  of  his  own  in  the  theology 
of  the  sixteenth  century.  He  is  the  link  which  connects  ancient 
with  modern  times — the  individual  in  whom  the  transition  is 
made  from  the  theology  of  the  middle  ages  to  the  theology  of  the 


Character  of  Francis  I— Beginning  of  Modern  Times — Liberty  and  Obedience — Mar 
garet  of  Valois — The  Court — Brigonnet,  Count  ofMontbrun — Lefevre  applies  to  the 
Bible — Francis  I  and  his  "  Sons" — The  Gospel  brought  to  Margaret — A  Conversion 
— Adoration — Character  of  Margaret. 

Tims  the  whole  university  was  in  motion.  But  the  Reforma 
tion  in  France  was  not  to  be  merely  the  work  of  learned  men.  It 
was  to  be  established  among  the  grandees  of  the  world,  and  even  at 
the  court  of  the  king. 

Young  Francis  of  Angouleme,  cousin  -german  of  Louis  XII, 
and  his  son-in-law,  had  succeeded  him.  His  beauty,  his  address, 
his  bravery,  his  love  of  pleasure,  made  him  the  first  chevalier  of 
his  time.  He  aspired,  however,  to  something  higher :  he  wished 
to  be  a  great  and  even  a  good  king,  provided  every  thing  could 
bend  to  his  sovereign  will.  Valour,  love  of  letters,  and  gallantry : 
these  three  words  sufficiently  express  the  character  of  Francis  and 
the  spirit  of  his  age.  At  a  later  period,  two  other  illustrious  kings, 
Henry  IV,  and  in  particular  Louis  XIV,  presented  the  same  fea 
tures.  These  princes  wanted  what  the  gospel  gives ;  and  although 
the  nation  has  never  been  without  elements  of  holiness  and  Chris 
tian  elevation,  it  may  be  said  that  these  three  great  monarchs  of 
modern  France  stamped  their  own  character  on  their  subjects,  or 



rather,  their  own  character  was  a  faithful  representation  of  the 
character  of  their  subjects.  Had  the  gospel  entered  France  through 
the  most  illustrious  of  the  Valois,  it  would  have  given  to  the  na 
tion  what  it  has  not — a  spiritual  tendency,  a  Christian  holiness, 
an  understanding  in  divine  things,  and  would  thus  have  made  it 
complete  in  that  which  contributes  most  to  the  power  and  great 
ness  of  kingdoms. 

Under  the  reign  of  Francis  I,  France  and  Europe  passed  from 
the  middle  ages  to  modern  times.  The  new  world,  which  was  in 
embryo  when  this  prince  mounted  the  throne,  then  greAV  up  and  en 
tered  into  possession.  Two  classes  of  men  exercised  an  influence 
over  the  new  society.  On  the  one  hand  arose  the  men  of  faith,  who 
were  at  the  same  time  the  men  of  wisdom  and  holiness,  and  close 
beside  them  the  writers  of  the  court,  the  friends  of  worldliness  and 
disorder,  who,  by  the  licentiousness  of  their  principles,  contributed 
as  much  to  the  corruption  of  manners,  as  the  former  class  did  to 
"heir  reformation. 

Had  not  Europe,  in  the  days  of  Francis  I,  seen  the  Reformer 
irise,  and  had  she,  by  a  severe  judgment  of  Providence,  been 
given  up  to  infidel  innovators,  it  was  all  over  both  with  her  and 
with  Christianity.  The  danger  was  great.  For  some  time,  these 
two  classes  of  combatants  the  adversaries  of  the  pope,  and  of  Jesus 
Christ,  were  confounded  together.  Both  calling  for  liberty,  seemed 
to  make  use  of  the  same  arms  against  the  same  enemies.  Amid  the 
turmoil  of  the  battle-field,  an  inexperienced  eye  might  have  been 
unable  to  distinguish  between  them.  Had  the  Reformers  allowed 
themselves  to  be  hurried  along  by  the  Literati,  all  was  lost.  The 
enemies  of  the  hierarchy  passed  rapidly  to  the  extreme  of  impiety, 
and  were  pushing  Christian  society  into  a  frightful  abyss.  The 
papacy  itself  contributed  to  this  dreadful  catastrophe,  by  its  ambi 
tion  and  disorders  hastening  the  destruction  of  those  remains  of 
truth  and  life  which  had  continued  in  the  Church.  But  God  raised 
up  the  Reformation,  and  Christianity  was  saved.  The  Reformers 
who  had  cried  '  Liberty !'  shortly  after  shouted  '  Obedience !'  The 
very  men  who  had  overturned  the  throne  on  which  the  Roman 
pontiff  delivered  his  oracles,  prostrated  themselves  before  the  word 
of  God.  The  separation  was  now  precise  and  decisive :  even  Avar 
was  declared  between  the  two  divisions  of  the  army.  The  one  had 
wished  liberty  only  for  themselves,  the  other  had  claimed  it  for  the 
word  of  God.  The  Reformation  became  the  most  formidable  ene 
my  of  this  infidelity,  for  which  Rome  often  manifests  some  degree 
of  indulgence.  The  Reformers,  after  restoring  liberty  to  the 
Church,  restored  religion  to  the  world.  Of  the  two  gifts,  the  lat 
ter  was  at  this  time  the  more  necessary. 


For  a  time,  the  friends  of  infidelity  hoped  to  count  among  their 
number  Margaret  of  Valois,  Duchess  of  Alencon,  whom  Francis 
loved  exceedingly,  always,  as  Brantome  says,  calling  her  his  little 
pet.1  The  same  tastes  and  the  same  talents  existed  in  the  brother 
and  the  sister.  Margaret,  handsome  like  Francis,  joined  the  mild 
virtues  which  captivate  to  the  strong  qualities  which  form  great 
characters.  In  the  world,  at  festivities,  at  the  court  of  the  king,  as 
well  as  at  that  of  the  emperor,  she  shone  a.?  a  queen,  charmed,  as 
tonished,  and  conquered  all  hearts.  Passionately  fond  of  litera 
ture,  and  endowed  with  rare  talents,  she  retired  to  her  study,  and 
there  gave  herself  up  to  the  pleasures  of  thinking,  writing,  and 
acquiring  knowledge.  But  her  strongest  wish  was  to  do  good  and 
prevent  evil.  When  ambassadors,  after  being  received  by  the 
king,  went  to  pay  thfeir  respects  to  Margaret,  *'  they  were,"  says 
Brant 6 me,  "  exceedingly  delighted,  and  earned  back  glowing  de 
scriptions  of  her  to  their  country."  2 

This  celebrated  princess  was  always  of  the  strictest  morals,  but 
while  many  people  placed  strictness  in  word,  and  freedom  in  act, 
Margaret  did  the  contrary.  Irreproachable  in  her  conduct,  she 
was  not  perfectly  so  in  respect  of  her  writings.  In  place  of  being 
surprised  at  this,  perhaps  the  wonder  ought  rather  to  be,  that  one 
so  coiTupt  as  Louisa  of  Savoy,  had  a  daughter  so  pure  as  Mar 
garet.  While  journeying  over  the  country  in  the  train  of  the 
court,  she  employed  herself  in  depicting  the  manners  of  the  time, 
and,  in  particular,  the  corruption  of  priests  and  monks.  Bran- 
tome  says,  "  I  have  heard  it  told  by  my  grandmother,  who  always 
travelled  with  her  in  her  sedan,  how  she  and  her  maid  of  honour 
held  the  writing-desk."  3  Such,  according  to  some,  was  the  origin 
of  the  Heptameron ;  but  highly- distinguished  modern  critics  are 
convinced  that  Margaret  was  a  stranger  to  this  collection,  some 
times  more  than  frivolous,  and  that  Desperiers,  valet  de  chambre 
to  the  queen,  was  its  author.4 

This  Margaret,  so  beautiful,  so  talented,  and  living  in  the  heart 
of  a  polluted  atmosphere,  was  to  be  one  of  the  first  who  was  to  be 

*  Vie  des  Dames  illusfres.     (P.  333.    Ed.  Hagen,  1740.)  2  Ibid.,  p.  337. 

3  Ibid.,  p.  346.  *  This  is  proved  by  one  of  the  most  distinguished  critics  of  our 

day,  M.  Ch.  Nodier,  in  the  Revue  des  Deux  Mondes,  torn,  xx,  where  he  says,  inter  alia 
p.  350,  "  Desperier  is  the  real  and  almost  pole  author  of  the  Heptamerun.  I  have  no 
hesitation  in  declaring  that  I  have  no  doubt  of  this,  and  that  I  am  entirely  of  the 
opinion  of  Bouistuan,  who  had  no  other  inducement  to  omit  or  conceal  the  name  of 
the  Queen  of  Navarre.  If,  as  I  think, Margaret  composed  some  of  the  tales,  (the  most 
decent,  doubtless,  of  those  in  the  Heptameron,)  itmust  have  been  in  early  life,  imme 
diately  after  her  marriage  with  the  Duke  d'Alencjon  (1509).  The  circumstance  men 
tioned  by  Brantome,  that  the  queen-mother,  and  Madame  of  Savoy,  "being  young," 
wished  to  "  imitate  Margaret,"  is  a  proof  of  this.  '  To  this  testimony  we  may  add 
that  of  De  Thou,  who  says,  "  Si  tempora  et  juvenilem  cstatem  in  qua  scriptum  eet 
respicias  non  pro-sus  damnandum,  certe  gravitate  tantse  heroinse  et  extrema  vita 
minus  dignum.  (Thuan  Ti  o.  117.)  Brantome  and  De  Thou  are  unexceptiouttblt 


caiTicd  along  by  the  religious  movement  which  then  began  to  agitate 
France.  But,  in  the  midst  of  a  court  so  dissolute,  and  the  licen 
tious  tales  which  amused  it,  how  could  the  Duchess  of  Alen^on  be 
reached  by  the  Reformation?  Her  elevated  soul  felt  wants  which 
the  gospel  alone  could  satisfy:  grace  acts  every  where,  and  Chris 
tianity,  which  even  before  an  apostle  had  appeared  in  Rome,  had 
adherents  in  the  house  of  Narcissus  and  in  the  court  of  Nero,1 
soon  penetrated,  at  its  revival,  to  the  court  of  Francis  I.  Some 
ladies  of  the  court  addressed  the  princess  in  the  language  of  faith, 
and  the  sun  which  was  then  rising  in  France  shed  some  of  its 
earliest  rays  on  an  illustrious  head,  by  which  they  were  immediately 
reflected  on  the  Duchess  of  Alencon. 

Among  the  most  distinguished  nobles  of  the  court  was  William  dc 
Montbrun,  son  of  Cardinal  Bi^onnet  of  St.  Malo,  who  had  entered 
the  Church  after  he  became  a  widower.  Count  William,  who  was 
passionately  attached  to  literature,  also  took  orders,  and  became 
successively  bishop  of  Lodeva  and  of  Meaux.  Sent  twice  to  Rome 
as  ambassador,  he  returned  to  Paris  without  having  been  seduced 
by  the  charms  and  pomp  of  Leo  X. 

When  he  returned  to  France,  the  movement  was  universally 
spread.  Farel,  master  of  arts,  was  teaching  in  the  celebrated  col 
lege  of  Cardinal  Lemoine,  one  of  the  four  principal  houses  of  the 
theological  faculty  of  Paris,  and  equal  in  rank  to  the  Sorbonne. 
Two  countrymen  of  Lefevre,  Arnaud  and  Gerald  Roussel,  and 
others  besides,  enlarged  this  circle  of  free  and  noble  spirits.  Bri- 
9onnet,  who  had  just  quitted  the  festivities  of  Rome,  was  astonished 
at  what  had  taken  place  in  Paris  during  his  absence.  Thirsting 
for  knowledge,  he  renewed  his  old  relations  with  Lefevre,  and 
shortly  after  passed  precious  hours  with  the  doctor  of  Sorbonne, 
Farel,  the  two  Roussels,  and  their,  other  friends.2  Full  of  humility, 
this  illustrious  prelate  was  willing  to  be  instructed  by  the  humblest 
individuals,  but  above  all  by  our  Lord  himself.  "  I  am  in  dark 
ness,"  said  he,  u  waiting  for  the  interposition  of  divine  grace,  of 
which  I  have  deprived  myself  by  my  demerits."  His  spirit  was, 
as  it  were,  dazzled  by  the  lustre  of  the  gospel.  He  dared  not  to 
look  up  on  its  unparalleled  refulgence.  "  All  eyes  united,"  he 
adds,  "  are  insufficient  to  receive  the  light  of  this  sun."  3 

Lefevre  had  referred  the  bishop  to  the  Bible;  he  had  shown  him, 
as  it  were,  the  guiding  thread  which  always  conducts  to  the  origi- 

i  Rom.  xvi,  11 ;  Phil,  iv,  22.  2  Hist,  de  la  Revocat.,  de  1'Edit.  de  Nantes,  vol. 

i,  p.  7.    Maimbourg,  Hist,  du  Calv.  p.  12.  »  These  words  of  Bricjonnet  are  taken 

from  the  MS.  of  the  Bibliotheque  Royale,  entitled  "  Letters  of  Margaret  Queen  of  Na 
varre,  and  marked  S.  F.  337.  This  MS.,  which  1  found  great  difficulty  in  deciphering 
I  wiU  repeatedly  have  occasion  to  quote.  The  quotations  are  given  in  the  language 
Of  the  time. 


nal  truths  o